Saturday, December 29, 2007

Reinisch hits level 16

Reinisch has been doing WSG whenever it has been available, and he's finally hit level 16. Only Ziz Fizziks and some of the missed wool donation quests are ones he can do, but he gets a better heal spell.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Kick and Blind?

In tests with my my first incarnation of Noor and on the public test realm, it looks like Kick is no longer considered an unarmed skill and won't make my unarmed skill go up. The same seems to be true of Blind, but I can't get that until level 34 (and I would want to test it on the PTR first). Sap is still off limits, though. But having Kick and then Blind will really help.

Reinisch has been busy doing all the WSG dailies that come along, and he's only about 3 away from getting to level 16. But it looks like level 16 will be nearly all WSG dailies; he can get sent to talk to Ziz Fizziks, but he won't do A Little Dash of Seasoning.

Friday, December 14, 2007

"I'm a PACIFIST, you bastards!"

That's what I say before throwing bombs; I felt I wasn't pulling my weight in battlegrounds, especially Arathi Basin, if I limited my flag-capture-stopping methods to Goblin Rocket Helmet or Gnomish Mind Control Cap, as their long cooldowns limit their use. So I decided to use bombs in battlegrounds, particularly ones that stun (Big Iron Bombs are what I use the most), and I whack people with my fishing rod to interrupt flag captures and so forth.

This can be very effective; I held the gold mine in AB at level 24 against a level 27 mage for about a minute and a half. Unfortunately, I killed a horde (Bloodkingdom) with a bomb during one fight...

I managed to get the plans for the Discombobulator Ray from Gnomeregan at level 24, after a few attempts; one of the few times I've needed to use the sturdier Advanced Target Dummy (the other time, so far, is for Forsaken Diseases quest). The main problems I had were finding a route to the 'D' code machine, and putting my dummy out where ranged attackers would attack it instead of me (I died a couple of times without getting the plans because gnomes kept throwing wrenches at me).

I also tried to make it to the opening of the AQ gates. Blizzard now teleports out low-level characters when the AQ gates can be opened, and that kept happening to me. I finally swam around Tanaris so I could go up on the south shore of Un'Goro and up into unfinished areas and approach Silithus from the southeast corner by the bug nest. I hugged the wall and made it to Bronzebeard's Encampment, and I climbed up to a mountain by one corner of AQ. I still couldn't really see anything though, so I tried going closer, but then I got ported to Ironforge and missed the opening...

Here are the quests I've done to get from level 23 to 25:
AB win (4 losses, 1 win) 1850 XP
The Lost Chalice
(somewhere around here respecced to combat from subtlety)
AB win (1 win) 1850 XP
The Only Cure is More Green Glow (solo)
(got FPs to Gadgetzan, Chillwind, Aerie Peak)
AB win (1 win) 1850 XP
(270 mining; mined rich thorium node in Azshara bay w/+5 mining gloves)
The Darkmoon Faire
AB win (5 losses, 1 win) 1850 XP
AB win (1 win) 1850 XP
WSG win (1 win) 1850 XP
(got FP to Un'Goro, Silithus)
AB win (1 loss, 1 win) 1850 XP
(respecced to subtlety from combat)
Your Fortune Awaits You (Sayge's Fortune #23) (but no XP)
In Search of Thaelrid (24)
Knowledge in the Deeps (completed)
Kayneth Stillwind
A Shameful Waste
Forsaken Diseases
Knowledge in the Deeps (turned in)
Klockmort's Essentials
The Manor, Ravenholdt
Essential Artificials
(managed to solo getting the discombobulator ray plans in gnomer)
WSG win (2 losses, 1 win) 1950 XP
AB win (1 win) 1950 XP Killed bloodkingdom!!
AB win (3 losses, 1 win) 1950 XP
AQ opens
AB win (1 loss, 1 win) 1950 XP
Explored rest of 1K Needles & Shimmering Flats, a bit more of STV (25)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Plateau at level 23

At level 23, I finally hit my first major XP plateau. There aren't very many quests left for me to do; right now I have:

In Search of Thaelrid
Knowledge in the Deeps
The Only Cure is More Green Glow
Digging Through the Ooze

The first two are in Blackfathom Deep, Green Glow is in Gnomeregan, and I don't think I can do Ooze via pickpocketing, but I'm going to try (there's at least one rogue quest where you can PP oozes for quest drops and also kill them for quest drops, so it's possible I could get whatshername's bag by pickpocketing oozes...)

There's a quest I haven't picked up yet in Forest Song, and one I might be able to get by pickpocketing Gruff Swiftbite, a rare spawn near Hogger. I've PP'd him a few times, but no gold schedule yet...

So, I've respecced from Subtlety to Combat so I can get 2 points in Improved Sprint and 2 in Endurance, which will help in WSG and AB. I've also gotten a net-o-matic, cloaking device, parachute cloak, mind control cap, rocket helmet, harm prevention belt, minor recombobulator (which I can make) and gnomish rocket boots (with slight speed increase enchant). I also picked up a pair of Swift Boots for only 1 gold in the AH (which I can't wear until level 35); I put speed increase enchant on them, too. I still want to get the discombobulator ray schematic (I have the delta card, but Gnomer is too dangerous I think).

The Charred Vale in Stonetalon Mountains is the absolute best place for a self-twinking lowbie to mine. Mithril and truesilver nodes, and most are far enough out on the edges to not aggro mobs. My mining is 247, I could mine small thorium veins. There's one in Felwood near the Ashenvale border that I might try to get, or, since I drowned myself off the coast of EPL so I could res at Light's Hope Chapel (to get to Ghostlands for more exploring XP), I could fly to Light's Hope and maybe find a node.

Here are the quests I've done to get from level 20 to 23:
Stonegear's Search
Search for Incendicite
The Day After
Mathias and the Defias
Klaven's Tower
The Touch of Zanzil #1,#2, #3
Speaking of Fortitude
The Touch of Zanzil #4
Brother Paxton
Ink Supplies
Rethban Ore
Return to Kristoff
Supplies from Darkshire
Dusky Crab Cakes
Look to the Stars #1 & #2
Ghost Hair Thread
Return the Comb
Return to Jitters
Deliver the Thread
Sven's Revenge
Sven's Camp
Zombie Juice
The Shadowy Figure
The Shadowy Search Continues (21)
Inquire at the Inn
Finding the Shadowy Figure
Return to Sven
Seasoned Wolf Kabobs
Bathran's Hair
The Ancient Statuette
Orendil's Cure
Elune's Tear
The Ruins of Stardust
Tinkmaster Overspark
(level mining until 175 (mithril), get mithril in Stonetalon, get engineering
to 225 (240 max) and get a parachute cloak made; can wear my gnomish
rocket boots now, too).
In Search of the Excavation Team #1
The Greenwarden
In Search of the Excavation Team #2
(swam to EPL and got to Ghostlands, explored) (22)
Murloc Poachers
Redridge Goulash
The Legend of Stalvan #1,#2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9
A Watchful Eye
Looking Further
The Legend of Stalvan #10, #11, #12, #13, #14
A Helping Hand
Report from the Northern Front
The Third Fleet
(explored southern Barrens, some of 1k Needles, and a bit of STV) (23)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Level 20, and meeting someone who saw my blog

Well, I made it to level 20 without too much trouble. One WSG daily, the rest from regular quests.

I needed to justify one quest - They're Alive! Maybe... on Bloodmyst Isle. In this quest, you have to free Expedition Researchers who are trapped in spider webbing, but to do this, you need to "kill" a Webbed Creature, which then spawns either an Expedition Researcher or a random mob. Since my fishing rod doesn't make my weapon skill go up, I decided to do it, as it fits in with my character.

My (temporary*) guild pointed out that using the Gnomish Mind-Control Helmet (if it backfires), or being mind controlled by a priest, could make me fight in combat unwillingly. I think as long as I wield my fishing rod, I'll be OK. I don't carry any weapons, and about the only thing that could happen would be for me to be disarmed while mind controlled, which would probably make my unarmed skill go up.

I saw someone buy linen cloth in bulk, so I sold him what I didn't need any longer. Since Alliance linen bandages are the only thing needed to open the AQ gates, I asked him (Calistariuss) if he was doing it to open AQ, and it turned out he was. I mentioned my pacifist rogue, and it turns out he had read my blog while googling for information on opening the AQ gates! Anyway, he has a 70 main (Mephisston) transferred to this server, who has the scepter needed to open the gates. I may have to get a spectator to Silithus...

(*temporary because, like my undead priest, I intend to form a guild called <The Pacifist>, so I will be labeled as such)

Here are the quests I took from level 15 to 20:

Samophlange #1 & #2 (but did not collect XP for #2)
Speak with Shoni
WSG daily 1050 XP!!
Beached Sea Creature
Deep Ocean, Vast Sea
Cave Mushrooms
The Fall of Ameth'Aran
The Master's Glaive
The Absent Minded Prospector
The Twilight Camp
Return to Onu
Urgent Delivery
The Bloodcurse Legacy
Restoring Sanctity (16)
Ysera's Tears
Talk to the Hand
Searching for Galen
Newfound Allies
The Way to Auberdine
The Tower of Althalaax
Beached Sea Turtle #2
Beached Sea Turtle #3
Mathystra relics
Encroaching Gnolls
Redridge Rendezvous
A Free Lunch
A Donation of Wool (Stormwind)
(get fishing to 50 so I can do Selling Fish quest)
Messenger to Stormwind #1
The Price of Shoes
A Dark Threat Looms #1 & #2
Thelsamar Blod Sausages (17)
A Donation of Wool (Darnassus)
WSG daily 1250 XP
Thundris Windweaver
The Cliffspring River
(leveled up fishing to max 75)
Gaffer Jacks
Easy Strider Living
Thunderbrew Lager
Return to Verner
Messenger to Stormwind #2
The Defias Brotherhood #1
Visit the Herbalist
Delivering Daffodils
Selling Fish
Hilary's Necklace
The Lost Tools
Messenger to Westfall #1
The Defias Brotherhood #2
Messenger to Westfall #2
Dry Times
The Defias Brotherhood #3
A Donation of Wool (Gnomeregan exiles) (18)
A Donation of Wool (Ironforge)
The Defias Brotherhood #4
(got lockpicking up to 90)
Alther's Mill
Messenger to Darkshire #1
Messenger to Darkshire #2
Raven Hill
Deliveries to Sven
A Donation of Wool (Exodar)
(found weather-beaten journal for fish finding)
The Sleeper Has Awakened
Journey to Astranaar
Onward to Ashenvale
Raene's Cleansing
(learned journeyman fishing so I can get to 100 and get fish finding)
Beached Sea Creature #1 & #2
Beached Sea Turtle #1 & #2
Irradiated Crystal Shards
They're Alive! Maybe... (see blog)
(hit level 19 exploring Stonetalon Mountains)
On Guard in Stonetalon #1 & #2
Ziz Fizziks
Journey to Stonetalon Peak
The Corruption Abroad
Deepmoss Spider Eggs
(explored Silverpine Forest)
Jitters' Growling Gut
Report to Mountaineer Rockgar
A Dark Threat Looms #3
Daily Delivery
A Dark Threat Looms #4
The Hermit
Beached Sea Creature #3 (20)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

70 is doable - grinding XP

The daily battleground quests give experience points, and they're repeatable, so level 70 is definitely doable. I've done the Warsong Gulch daily quest twice, once at level 14 for 975 XP, and level 15 for 1050 XP. Of course, I end up getting honor kills as part of the raid group, but I can't really avoid this. Reinisch can also start leveling up again, using BG quests when his quest log dries up.

My timing seems to be good; not only do I get more XP per quest and less XP needed to level from the 2.3 changes, I also managed to explore the horde starting areas (except for the Blood Elves, which I'll do soon) before the zeppelin had hostile crews. And with Zul'Aman a new instance there, I ought to be able to find a warlock in a group that is willing to summon me, so I can explore the BE starting areas without losing XP by going through EPL at a low level.

The marked questgivers on the minimap, and the 'quest' category in the auction house also are a big help. I had to level up my fishing a little bit to complete The Family And The Fishing Pole quest, and assuming I hit level 70, the de rigeur offhand for an Alliance character would be Old Crafty.

The quests I completed to get from level 10 to 15 were:

Coming of Age
Deeprun Rat Roundup
Me Brother, Nipsy
Stormpike's Order
Westfall Stew #1
Report to Gyran Stoutmantle
Goretusk Liver Pie
(swam to Booty Bay, boat to Ratchet)
Winds in the Desert
(explore Durotar, Mulgore, Tirisfal Glade) (11)
Westfall Stew #2
Poor Old Blanchy
The Forgotten Heirloom
Keeper of the Flame
Humble Beginnings
Stormpike's Delivery (12)
Filthy Paws
The Relics of Wakening
The Apple Falls
Destiny Calls
Seek out SI: 7
Snatch and Grab
Road to Salvation
Simple Subterfugin'
Onin's Report
Honor Students
Ride to Ironforge
Gryth Thurden
Return to Brock
Elekks Are Serious Business
The Kessel Run (13)
A Favorite Treat
Catch and Release
What Argus Means To Me
Learning From The Crystals
The Missing Survey Team
Know Thine Enemy
Explorer's League, Is That Something For Gnomes?
Pilfered Equipment
(got 290 XP by accident in group, will not do 2nd part of samophlange to lose 490 XP)
Mac'Aree Mushroom Menagerie
Ironband's Excavation
Find Bingles
Excavation Progress Report
Report to Ironforge (14)
Powder to Ironband
Resupplying the Excavation
After the Ambush
Protecting the Shipment (I used a dummy as a distraction, and bandaged Miran, but didn't fight)
Bingles Missing Supplies
Trouble in Darkshore?
Plagued Lands
How Big A Threat?
The Red Crystal
The Family And The Fishing Pole (23 fishing skill)
Washed Ashore #1 & #2
WSG daily 975 XP
As Water Cascades
The Fragments Within
Beached Sea Turtle
(while moving to the Samophlange area, I hit level 15)

After these, I did Samoplhange #1 and finished #2 but did not collect the XP to compensate for the inadvertent 290 XP

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Perils of grouping

Argh.... while finding the gnome hiding in the turtle shell on the north coast of Bloodmyst Isle, another player was leveling up jewelcrafting in the area and giving away free items. We grouped to find each other, but some murlocs respawned nearby while we were trading, and I accidentally got 290 XP when the other player killed them. To compensate for that, I'll do (but not complete) the second part of the Samophlange quest - I can only do the first two parts, since part 3 requires that I kill Tinkerer Sniggles for a key. The second part is worth 490 XP, which is the easiest quest to trim.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Noor at 10

Noor is now level 10 and appears in the armory. I'll be getting her engineering and mining up.

I might go Goblin Engineering, just to make it easier for Goblin Rocket Boots, which I will probably use for BG daily quests. I've already got Gnomish Rocket Boots from the AH for 70 silver.

Here are the quests Noor has done to get from level 5 to 10:
(learned mining, bought pickaxe)
Lost Necklace
(mined a lot)
(bought portal to Shattrath (90s), set hearth there)
The Woodland Protector
A Good Friend
A Friend In Need
Dolanaar Delivery
Denalan's Earth
Timberling Sprouts
Inoculation (6)
Spare Parts
The Missing Scout
Word From Azure Watch
Red Snapper - Very Tasty
Find Acteon!
Westbrook Garrison Needs Help!
The Alliance Needs Linen Bandages
(I can now make target dummies)
A Refugee's Quandary
The Temple of the Moon
A Troubling Breeze
Gnarlpine Corruption
The Emerald Dreamcatcher (7)
A Small Start
I've Got A Plant
Tree's Company
Precious and Fragile Things Need Special Handling
The Great Moongraze Hunt
Pie for Billy
Back to Billy
A Fishy Peril
Further Concerns
(exploring) (8)
Find the Lost Guards
Discover Rolf's Fate
A Bundle of Trouble
Report to Thomas
Deliver Thomas' Report
Cloth and Leather Armor
Recipe of the Kaldorei
(missed Rejold's New Brew)
The Perfect Stout (9)
Rumbleshot's Ammo
Tundra MacGrann's Stolen Stash
Beer Basted Boar Ribs
Shimmer Stout
Stout to Kadrell
Mountaineer Stormpike's Task
The Lost Pilot
Learning the Language
Totem of Coo
Totem of Tikti
Totem of Yor
Totem of Vark
The Missing Fisherman
A Cry for Help (10) (I didn't fight, I just bandaged Magwin. Didn't even need to use a dummy.)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Noor 2.0

I've tried Noorkhan on the public test realm, and since she doesn't "count", I've done some more experimenting...

The XP changes don't seem to affect levels 1-10; at 10, you're supposed to be able to get the daily BG quest if it happens to be WSG. So far I haven't seen WSG as the quest, but even though Noor is level 20 and can enter AB, she can't get the daily quest for AB. I sent a bug report on that. Even so, it doesn't look like there are enough players to actually run AB in that bracket.

I accidentally increased my unarmed combat by trying to loot my target dummy while being attacked by spiders; I hit the spiders a couple of times. I found that if I always wielded my fishing rod, hitting mobs doesn't increase my weapon skill. I could one-shot rats with it, though. It used to be (and maybe still is) the case that fishing-rod damage depends on fishing skill, so I'll always carry the weakest fishing rod and never fish, to keep any accidental hits as small as possible. Given that I'm also an engineer, I could "cheat" by throwing bombs and beating mobs to death with my fishing rod.

The one thing I noticed on the PTR is that the war effort to open the AQ gates is going on, and you get 650 XP just by talking to a gnome by the AH in IF and then talking to the dwarf in charge of the war effort in the military zone.

After checking realm status, there is ONE PvP realm that has not finished the war effort: Maiev. They still need to turn in linen bandages.

I have started Noor 2.0 (just Noor, not Noorkhan) on Maiev, and I have been able to get to level 5 just in the IF/SW areas, so I also won't lose XP by seeing Menethil Harbor at a low level. I'm now hearthed in Shattrath. One problem -- it's such a low population that it could be hard buying raw meat to complete some of the cooking quests. It's also hard to sell copper bars, though I've sold some. The Hallow's End quests don't give XP, but sometimes I get candy that I can vendor for more than a silver, which really helps.

Here are the quests Noor has done to get to level 5:
Explore some of Dun Morogh
Supplies to Tannok (level 2)
Tools for Steelgrill
Explore IF & SW
The Alliance Needs Your Help (3)
Thurman's Sewing Kit
Wine Shop Advert
A Threat Within
Eagan Peltskinner
Rest and Relaxation
Explore Goldshire
Bitter Rivals
Distracting Jarven
Return to Marleth (4)
Scout Through the Fargodeep Mine
Scalding Mornbrew Delivery
Bring Back The Mug
The Jasperlode Mine (5)

Monday, October 1, 2007

2.3 and rerolling

Well, after reading about the XP increase for quests, the level 20-60 XP decrease for new levels, and the repeatable daily BG quests that give XP, all coming in patch 2.3 (expected in November), plus the wart of having a dagger skill of 2 instead of a perfect 1, I've decided to reroll this same character when 2.3 comes out. I've gotten to level 20 without much of a problem, though quests are still a bit thin. The changes in 2.3 should help even more, and I'll try to buy a portal to Shattrath "on credit" so my pre-level 5 rogue can get to all four starting areas without going through Menethil Harbor and Auberdine, and losing some XP due to the XP cap. I hope at least some of the daily BG quests that give XP can be accomplished without combat; a pacifist rogue might work as a WSG flag-runner, and possibly a scout/flag ninja for the other BGs.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Pacifist Gnome Rogue

I've spent the last few days leveling up my pacifist rogue...

For roleplaying purposes, I figured a rogue was the closest Warcraft class to a spy, so after some googling for pacifist spies, I found Noor Inayat Khan, daughter of a pacifist Indian Sufi Muslim and American mother who was raised in India, France, and England, and who was a radio operator in the French Resistance for the British during WWII until she was captured and executed by the gestapo. So here is Noorkhan.

It's going a LOT better than my undead priest.

First, there have been no XP plateaus - I've gone up to level 11.5 without having to explore for XP, and I haven't explored outside my "appropriate" level (which loses some XP due to capping) with the small exceptions of seeing Menethil Harbor and Auberdine. Alliance seems to have a lot more quests, and a lot more quests that can be completed without combat (gathering, delivery, cooking quests with normal drop ingredients (doable via auction house), talk-to-that-guy quests, etc).

Second, a gnome rogue is probably the best pacifist character:
1) Money is tight before level 5 and a gathering skill can be learned, but a rogue learns pickpocketing at level 4, and the non-aggressive Troggs can be picked for primitive rock tools that vendor for 22c, a lot for a level 4.
2) Target dummies can be made by a gnome engineer at level 5 instead of 10. I was able to do the Emerald Dreamcatcher quest at level 6 or so.
3) I can stealth while getting exploring XP; especially handy when I explore Horde areas.
4) There may be some quests where only a rogue can get "drops" by pickpocketing instead of killing mobs. I was able to partially do the Shimmerweed quest via pickpocketing, but since players can also get Shimmerweed by opening the baskets, non-rogues can also do this quest nonviolently.

One minor annoyance: after hitting level 10 and getting Sap, I tried it, and it made my dagger skill go up! So I don't have a perfect "1" in my dagger skill... There may be some quests where I need Sap (in order to stay out of combat), but I'll try to use it only when I absolutely have to.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


I've put Reinisch in mothballs for a while now, I'll take him out when Halloween comes for seasonal XP. I'll also start up my gnome rogue pacifist at that time...

Monday, August 6, 2007

More thoughts on an Alliance pacifist

After getting my priest most of the way to level 15 by exploring more dangerous areas, I've changed my mind about what class/race to use for my Alliance test. My priest is finding it harder and harder to explore, and bubbling & running doesn't last long against mobs 20 levels higher.

A rogue can sprint, and sprinting doesn't having problems with scaling the way bubbles/healing does. If I can run away fast enough, I can live. The gnome racial ability of escape artist helps, too.

As a level 5 gnome, I'll be able to use target dummies; level 10 doesn't give me any immediate improvement over a non-gnome, but at level 20 I can use (but not make) a Goblin Rocket Helmet, unlike non-gnome engineers. I could also make a Gnomish Battle Chicken (to act as more of a decoy) if I need one.

A pacifist rogue is also more obvious in an armory entry...

Finally, due to what I've found about exploring XP, I should start the character around a holiday that allows low level characters to earn a fair amount of XP; this will allow me to maximize the amount I get from exploring.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Made Level 14!

I did a lot of exploring and found a few more non-combat quests, and got to level 14. However, I've noticed something about XP for exploring that I haven't seen anywhere... When I was level 13, the 'cap' for exploring XP was 135; no matter where I explored, I never got more than 135 XP for an area. When I hit 14, I started getting 145. I seems the optimal way is to do all new quests available when you get a new level and minimize exploring until you can't do any more quests.

I've done some work on a Draenei hunter, but I've already goofed up and missed a 'referral' quest that I can't get now. Since she's only level 3, I think I'll restart her at some point. There might also be an 'optimal' race that can level up in their starting area enough to make a noticable difference in maximizing exploring XP.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


On further consideration, I think a Draenei hunter would be best. There appear to be at least a few Draenei-only quests, and I don't think there are any that are Alliance-except-Draenei, so there should be slightly more XP available. Plus, Draenei have a slight self-heal, and before I hit level 10 I can be a jewelcrafter and make some healing stone statues that I can bank.

Unlucky 13

After getting to level 13, again mostly by exploring, it's looking more & more like this is the highest level I can reach (discounting the seasonal quests). The vast majority of my XP is now coming from exploring (I hit 13 getting to Stonetalon Peak, exploring the last part of Stonetalon Mountains) and I only have Thousand Needles and Duskwood unexplored.

I'll find what quests I can do (I've done the first two parts of Samophlange; part 3 requires a kill), but I'm already thinking about seeing how far an Alliance pacifist can get, and how to learn from my mistakes:
  • A priest is a good pacifist from a roleplaying point of view, but not in gameplaying terms; a hunter would be best, as a pet can keep the mob's attention.
  • I'll be more careful about not losing XP by exploring high level areas and starting quests at the wrong time/place.
  • An older, more populated RPPvP server would be better, as I can buy & sell more easily at the auction house.
  • When I hit level 11, I'll go to all the Horde lowbie zones to get exploring XP.

    The ideal, I think, would be a gnome hunter, if such existed. The +15 engineering would allow immediate use of target dummies, and other useful items sooner, like a goblin rocket helmet. A pacifist gnome warlock could almost work, as oxymoronic as it sounds. But creating soul shards requires killing, and imps can't tank. The best choice is the cliché, the Night Elf Hunter. Shadowmeld will probably come in handy.
  • Tuesday, July 31, 2007

    Level 12

    Fade and Target Dummies
    It turns out dropping a target dummy and fading does not get me out of combat, so I still can't solo Tomber's Supplies...

    Running On Empty?
    Getting to level 12 seems to have opened no new non-combat quests; at least, I haven't been able to find any. It looks like the other two Alliance start areas are the only way to advance, so I took a chance and ran into Ashenvale, and fortunately, I'm high enough to get exploring XP there -- better than wasting it like I did for some of WPL. I haven't been quite optimal in getting XP in other areas; I missed at least one "NPC1 tells me to talk to NPC2" quest by talking to NPC2 first and getting the quest that NPC1 would've sent me to do.

    I've gone to the weapon trainer to learn staves, just so I can hold one if I find one that looks good. I will also probably learn level 1 of Devouring Plague since that appears to be a quest for UD priests that gives some XP.

    Odd Playstyle
    Given my method to loot Raptor Eggs, this is possibly the only priest build where +Agility and +Dodge is useful.

    I don't need much bag space, because I don't get much loot, and I have to run between zones so much I go near banks frequently.

    My level 70 mains have all kinds of combat macros; my priest has all emote macros.

    I always have rested XP and never use it. I don't need to stay at inns since it doesn't help me.

    Ways To Grind XP?
    I've found one way to "grind" XP so far: the seasonal quests are repeatable. Not exactly quick leveling, but if I get stuck, I can mothball Reinisch and bring him out for each event until he goes up a level and can get new quests.

    There used to be at a quest that allowed XP grinding without killing. The Steamwheedle reputation quest Water Pouch Bounty used to give 380 XP for repeat turn-ins (10% of the initial turn-in), but about the time that The Burning Crusade came out, it no longer gives XP, just rep.

    I had hoped that changing your engineering speciality between Gnomish and Goblin would allow you to take the "Show Your Work" quest over & over, but from what I read, you are considered to have already done it even if you switch. This might change in the future, though, because people who have switched do not get their membership cards to switch, so they can't get the unique BOP pet that the other specialization can get by renewing their membership card.

    The same appears to be true of the Darkmoon Faire decks; completing a deck creates a quest to turn it in, so I don't think you can repeat it for XP.

    Monday, July 30, 2007

    A detour before taking the A-Train

    I've taken the long swim back up to Westfall (and get the Keeper of the Flame quest from the ghost Captain Grayson at the Westfall lighthouse - yes, he gives them to Horde, too) and explored the rest of it, and swam across to Redridge to get all of those exploring XP before my level gets too high. I inadvertently get some XP from the edges of Duskwood as I swim over.

    Running around Redridge, I run into some Alliance. I wave, but the ?? Rogue kills me. After more exploring and dying around the gnolls near the Tower of Ilgalar, I rez and some gnolls attack again. I bubble and hit Renew as I run, and two ?? Alliance players see me and attack the gnolls to help me. I actually survive while both of them die -- not much I could do to help. I wait around for them to rez so I can /thank them and /bow. One of them waves, but then they both start attacking me, I guess because their friends (who had killed me earlier) come by and they don't want to appear "soft on Horde."

    After returning to Horde territory and levelling up some more, I start running low on quests again, and decide I really need to get to Dun Morough and Loch Modan to get more exploring XP before I'm too high level to get it. So, I swim up to Westfall for a third time and corpse-hop through Stormwind, which takes more than an hour to get to the tram. One odd note, WoW keeps track of your last two corpses, leaving a skeleton at each. This seems wrong somehow...

    I'm making a list of quests that I've done. I've already got a couple of people willing to join a guild I plan to create called <The Pacifist>, so players (including Alliance) will see my name as:

    <The Pacifist>

    I've also come up with a couple of possible ways to solo the Tomber's Supplies quest -- either throw down a Target Dummy and Fade, which might take me out of combat so I can get the supplies, or level up engineering so I can use a Gnomish Cloaking Device and (hopefully) get the supplies before I go into combat.

    Sunday, July 29, 2007

    World of Warcraft as a pacifist

    A Pacifist?

    After reading about the World of Warcraft hunter who only melees and the warrior who fights with no armor or weapons, I decided to try a type of character I've been thinking about for a while: a pacifist who refuses to kill anything.

    Over this weekend, I've done some experimenting. Since I've mostly played Alliance on a PvP server, I decided to switch to Horde on The Venture Co (RPPvP). RP because I'll be roleplaying a pacifist, and PvP because, well, what's the point of being a pacifist if it's easy?

    First, what is a "pacifist" in WoW? My first attempt was a Blood Elf Warlock, who didn't kill anything "alive" -- undead, demons, and mechanicals were ok to destroy, because they weren't flesh & blood. But this wasn't much different from normal play, and I deleted her after hitting level 5 easily.

    Then I gave it a little more thought, and decided I couldn't kill any mobs. No NPCs, no opposing players, no critters (rats, chickens, etc). If WoW keeps track of total kills for each player, mine should be all zeroes.

    This also meant no "cheating" by grouping and allowing other players to do my dirty work for me. Level up only from non-violent quests and exploring.

    Second, is this even mathematically possible? There are a limited number of quests, and only so many points to gain from exploring. Worse yet, now you can only gain exploring XP if your level is close to the level of the zone -- no running a level 3 into WPL for a few hundred XP (which I discovered too late). Also, some quests that I could do are parts of a chain that require killing to get, so I can't even do all delivery/search/gathering quests.

    Finally, "what's my motivation?" On a roleplaying server, I should at least come up with a rationale.

    I decided to pattern my character after a real-life German priest who was a pacifist executed for refusing to serve under Hitler, Franz Reinisch. Being an undead human, my character's backstory is that he was executed for refusing to serve under a military dictator. After an unremembered time as a puppet of the Scourge, he awakens some 60+ years after his death as a member of the Forsaken, but a member who refuses to kill.

    Here is Reinisch. As of this writing, he is level 11. You can see that he has never used a mace, wand, or unarmed fighting by looking at his skills. He only has level 1 Smite because he started with it.

    A Long Road

    As I feared, there aren't enough non-combat quests in any one starting area to level up easily. My UD Priest has to constantly run around all four starting areas to find enough to do. Deliveries to Brill, conking lazy Orcs on the head (hey, I may be a pacifist, but I'm no Gandhi), and getting to Mulgore at a low enough level to still get XP from the lowest-level quests there. I couldn't do any of the Blood Elf starting quests, though, they wouldn't give me any.

    I wanted to do this without any outside help, so my money situation before level 5 is pretty bad. I don't get cash from mobs or many quests, so I also loot any water barrels or food boxes or unguarded chests I see. When I get to level 5, I barely have enough to learn mining and buy a pickaxe. After selling some ore, money is no longer a problem. At first, I take mining and herbalism.

    Leveling up is easy but slow, as I keep needing to travel to find enough quests. I don't know how hard or easy it would be for an Alliance character -- their capitals are essentially in two isolated groups, making it harder for a low-level character to get quests from all four starting areas, but maybe they have more non-combat quests.

    Of course, many of the gathering quests are near mobs which are normally killed in order to do the quest; since this option isn't open to me, I can sometimes run in and die near the item, and hopefully resurrect outside of aggro range to complete the quest. I did Thazz'ril's Pick this way. I also complete some of these sorts of quests easily because a player had just been through the area earlier.

    I hit a real XP plateau after level 7. I can't find any more quests, and I have two I can't complete: Break A Few Eggs and Thwarting Kolkar Aggression. Both involved getting items that are close to mobs that attack me; getting attacked aborts my attempt to get the items, even if I bubble first.

    I could, of course, just ask people to kill them for me, but that doesn't seem right for a pacifist. I don't have any crowd control spells at level 7. I finally hit on the idea of dropping herbalism for engineering so I can make target dummies -- the mobs will attack the target dummy while I get the items. I level up my engineering, but then find out I can't learn the second level of engineering until I'm level 10! Scratch that idea for now.

    I even turn violent! I do the second part of A Rogue's Deal, where I have to fight an NPC rogue. But since it's one of those quests where the NPC gives up before he dies, I never kill him. However, since I never plan on levelling my combat skills over 1 or getting any offensive spell other than the level 1 Smite I started with, this is probably the only quest of this kind I can complete without help.

    Finally, I take the boat from Ratchet to Booty Bay and swim all the way north to northern Westfall (north end, because I don't want to discover areas that are too high for me to get XP exploring credit). I run around all of Elwynn Forest and some of Westfall to get as much XP as I can. I hit level 8 by one of the farms in Elwynn and get about 25% through level 8 just by exploring. I took over 6 hours to go from level 7 to 8.

    Level 10 At Last

    Level 8 and 9 are a bit easier; I'm being more careful about exploring. The quests by level list helps, but is incorrect and incomplete, so I keep looking for quests and keep exploring "appropriate" levels. I plan on returning to Alliance territory periodically to get even more exploring XP, but it feels like I might be losing ground -- I have to explore more areas, and areas with higher-level mobs, because I'm not quite getting enough XP from non-combat quests. If this keeps up, it's possible I may reach a level where I simply can't advance.

    I also hit on a way to do the Break A Few Eggs quest -- I notice that I regenerate mana fast enough to continually heal myself indefinitely if I'm in combat with just one raptor guarding eggs. Every time I try to loot the egg, the raptor hits me and aborts the looting. However, the raptor sometimes misses me, which allows me to continue to loot the egg. But one miss isn't enough! I have to keep trying for several minutes until, by chance, the raptor misses me twice in a row. I loot 2 of the required 3 eggs using this method, and one egg gotten due to a helpful passerby. I also complete the Kolkar quest with unexpected help.

    When I hit level 10, I levelled up my engineering to make Target Dummies. It has taken just under 20 hours to get to level 10.

    Target dummies don't help with every gathering quest; I can't do Tomber's Supplies because I can't loot the supplies if I'm in combat. But they helped me finish Grimscale Pirates.

    Level 10 seems to have opened a fair number of quests and I get to level 11 without much trouble. I plan to go to Westfall and Redridge to avoid losing exploring XP. I accept the quest Wild Hearts even though it is normally completed by killing Worgs; since it's an ingredient in Discolored Healing Potions, it's a regular drop, not a quest drop, so I can buy them from the Auction House. I long ago decided I have to allow myself to buy items like leather at the Auction House to realistically function...