Tag Archives: PVP Tips

A.B.C. (Alterac Brings Capital)

A quick trip to the Alterac Mountains can often bring in a fairly hefty sum of gold if you know where to look and what to do while you’re there. Here are the sights and NPCs to visit if you want to know how to conduct a profitable trip to the mountains. We’re willing to bet that you haven’t heard of all of these…

Frost Oil

Deep in the Alterac Mountains, just beyond the Hillsbrad Foothills, high atop a wall guarded by once mighty ogres (seriously, they used to be elite) sits Bro’kin. Bro’kin, a Boooty Bay aligned goblin, is an otherwise unremarkable Alchemy vendor with the exception that he is the only NPC that sells the Frost Oil Recipe. This oil, while fairly outdated by current standards, is still highly profitable due to the fact that it is a required turn-in for an old leveling quest, Coolant Heads Prevail. This quest line is still completed by alts and veteran players alike because part of the chain awards a fairly unique trinket, the Nifty Stopwatch. This old trinket still has use for running long distances when you can’t mount. PVPers will like it for running flags; Bankers will like it for the occasional speedy mailbox/bank/AH run. The oil is also used, albeit a lot less frequently, for the old Dire Maul Tribute run.

The point is that you’ve got a fairly steady demand and a limited supply which means a good potential for profits. Pick up a few copies of this recipe from Bro’kin for less than a gold each and learn one (if you’re an alchemist) and sell the others for as much as you can in the AH. We typically wait until no one else has one posted to post ours and then we price it in the area of 30g each, one at a time.

Note that you’ll have to wait a few minutes before purchasing the recipe again as it is a limited supply item. So what do you do while you wait? Well we’re glad you asked…

Nodes

There are various ore and herb nodes appropriate to the level of the quests and mobs in the zone but the standout winner here is a key component of Frost Oil, Wintersbite. This herb can be picked by herbalists of requisite level and is found only in the snowy mountainous areas of this zone. The nice thing about this herb is that this is the ONLY area in which it grows, so if you have extras after crafting your own Frost Oils they can be sold for pretty high prices.

If you’re an alchemist/herbalist (or are friendly with one) you are now in the business of selling the Frost Oil recipe, the oil itself and the requisite herbs for crafting of the oil. You, essentially, control this tiny market. Savvy traders will even take steps to ensure that the price of the herbs remains formidably high such that even if other players buy the recipe from you they find it unprofitable to craft a bunch of the oils to compete with you. Muhaaaahaaaahaaaaa!

A Bonus Rare Engineering Schematic

But wait, there’s more… Did you notice the little guy in the cage during your Alterac Travels? Rizz Loosebolt is another obscure Alterac vendor, this time of the engineering variety. Like Bro’kin, he is friendly to both factions and sells various trade items but has one recipe in limited supply. This time it is the Ice Deflector Schematic which is a bit of a harder sell (there’s no quest associated with the crafted item) but it does sell to completionist Engineers (many haven’t even heard of this schematic). While you’re talking to Rizz, you might also want to buy out his supply of Gyrochronatoms which usually sell at a hefty markup in the AH to lazy players that don’t bother finding them elsewhere for less.

In an interesting example of WoW synergy, it is worth noting that Frost Oil is a required crafting component of the Ice Deflector and one of the Gyrochronatoms are required for completion of the afore mentioned Nifty Stopwatch quest line.

Something Else to Think About

Did you do your Alterac Valley quests? There are a whole slew of them available in your race’s AV cavern. Quest givers are located about half way down each tunnel. Both factions’ tunnels are located symmetrically on opposite sides of a path between the mountains that make up the border of the Hillsbrad Foothills and the Alterac Mountains. An informal poll amongst friends and family showed that most players, particularly those that started playing within the last two years, have never even heard of these quests. They are easy to do and are often completed along the course of attempting to win the AV battle. In fact, the hardest thing about completing these quests is simply finding the quest givers. So what are you waiting for? That’s some easy XP/gold right there? These quests might prove particularly lucrative to those players attempting to level with PVP as it just becomes an added bonus to what they are already doing.

You’ve now got yourself a little, agreeably unusual but highly profitable, farming circuit from the old world. It may seem counterintuitive to spend time visiting these old areas but we would argue otherwise, because who knows what the availability of these items, vendors, quests and even zones will be after the Cataclysm hits? May as well head out there now while you still can.

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Cheap Eats

Look, everyone loves a tasty, high-quality meal. It’s always nice to head out for a fine steak and a glass of wine but sometimes the situation calls for a quick burger instead. PUGs, PVE questing and Battlegrounds are fine examples of this- certainly not steak time, but still no reason to go to battle hungry. But don’t go to the expense of burning your best food for PUGs, BGs or a few lowly mobs, save that stuff for raids and more difficult encounters. If all you want is to have a food buff (particularly the stamina component for use in battlegrounds) just purchase or cook up some of the cheaper versions of your favorite foods.

Flexibility is key when finding ‘Cheap Eats’. Even if you’ve got your heart set on +Spell Power food, be willing to accept +Spirit, Crit or Haste instead. No matter what way you still get the Stamina buff and a little something extra to boost your other stats. Also, as long as we’re talking about flexibility, don’t forget to look in the AH for the uncooked version of the food you’re after as well.

Keep in mind that a large part of keeping these foods cheap to craft is attaining spices as inexpensively as possible. While not all lower level foods will require the spices, it helps to constantly keep an eye on this item in the AH for deals. We find at least once a week some idiot will post a stack of Northern Spices for less than half the going rate. Even if we don’t need them at that particular moment we’ll scoop them up for later use or simply repost them higher. It’s easy money.

Finally, the profit-minded WoW trader will be interested to learn that there is often a significant disparity between the prices of this lower-tier uncooked and cooked food. Look at this difference as an opportunity to conduct some profitable market corrections. Develop an understanding of both the base costs of preparing the cooked food and the timing of the sale cycle for the food and use this knowledge to exploit the market.

Here is a short list of a few of our favorite lower-tier (and often very inexpensive) cooked Northrend foods:

  • Cuttlesteak– Many WoW fishermen pick up Cuttlefish while doing one of their daily fishing quests. Since the material is utterly useless beyond cooking into steak of feeding to hunter pets, it often gets dumped in the AH at near vendor sale prices.
  • Baked Manta Ray– This one is great because it grants a buff that is beneficial to both casters and melee (haste) and does not require spices.
  • Grilled Sculpin– Another one that requires no spices to craft. Nice boost to AP. Watch the market closely, however, as the fish required to craft the item are also a key component of Fish Feast so sometimes it is better to sell the raw fish than to cook into this item.
  • Blackened Worg Steak– What’s that you say? The buff is useless? Not at all… pop one of these prior to your Wintergrasp farming runs and never be surprised by a gank-seeking enemy again. Of course, maybe you’re the ganker in which case this might prove even more useful for finding new targets.
  • Pickled Fangtooth– The raw fish required to craft this item are often vastly oversupplied and extremely cheap on the AH. Pick them up and cook them up and keep your mana up. Again, no spices required at all.
  • Snapper Extreme– Requires 3 raw fish AND spices but the fish are extremely oversupplied to such an extent that the crafting cost is often little more than the cost of the spices and your time invested.
  • Worm Delight– Another ‘no spice’ recipe with a buff that can benefit all classes and builds (Crit). This one used to be more expensive until more players started regularly killing worms for the Sons of Hodir. These days a savvy trader can find the raw materials on the AH at a much lower cost fairly regularly.

P.S. (free bonus tourist info): If you happen to be visiting the New York area sometime, be sure to check out Luger’s steak house (linked above). There are a lot of great joints in the city but this place is a bit out of the way so many tourists miss it. This New Yorker favorite has got a fantastic authentic Brooklyn atmosphere and serves up one of the finest steaks you’ll ever taste. Even the burgers here are great (and relatively cheap). This is not a paid advertisement, just us telling you where you can find a great meal during your visit. Not that we would complain if you invited us to come along for a bite mind you (hint, hint, nudge, nudge).

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Three Interesting Bugs Introduced in Patch 3.2 (Including the ‘Free’ Honor Dance)

We take a break from our regularly scheduled focus week posts to bring attention to a few issues that readers have pointed out to us or we have observed ourselves in the wake of the implementation of patch 3.2. Call them bugs or game design elements, either way they have the potential to alter your play or gold making styles. Have you observed any of the following during your sessions?

1. Auction House Page Problems

The Issue:

Users of the unmodified auction house are reporting that the auction house page tabs (those small arrows on the top right section of the AH interface) are sometimes inactive (or grayed out) when they should otherwise be available. We have tested and observed this phenomenon ourselves. The issue occurs after having searched for an item and scrolled through multiple pages. On a subsequent search of a different item that does not have as many pages of inventory, the arrows are no longer usable. Worse, and more confusingly, we observed instances where, upon searching through multiple pages of an item, the subsequent search turned up the “No items found” message if the window was not closed and reopened or the user did not manually flip the inventory page back to page one.

The Workaround:

Simply close the AH interface after a search of an item in which you scrolled through multiple pages of inventory then reopen the window by talking to the AH NPC again to ‘refresh’ the interface. Note that, in most cases, your old search term will still be in the search text box so amend as appropriate.

2. The Flying Mount Gimli Glider

The Issue:

Some users and WoWenomics team members have reported having landing issues when attempting to land upon or near lootable nodes. The description most used is that of experiencing a ‘gliding’ effect when trying to land their flying mounts as though the player were expected to perform a deadstick landing. The issue seems to be particularly applicable to nodes on or very near steep terrain and appears to not be exclusive to only node farming but also other precarious landing situations.

The Workaround:

Give yourself a bit of landing room and attempt land just prior to the target location. If there is not sufficient ‘runway space’ fly just above the target and manually dismount so as to fall directly upon the target.

3. The BG ‘Free’ Honor Dance

The Issue:

It has been widely reported that some players are exploiting the newly extended honorable kill range in conjunction with the recently implemented honor bonus for node defense in applicable battlegrounds. The issue is that there are some locations, particularly the blacksmith location in Arathi Basin, from which a defender can be within range of every honorable kill on the map while at the same time benefiting from bonus honor awarded from being within range of the flag. Thus, certain players that do the least in the BG (and AFKers in particular) are now able to hide strategically and go make a sandwich and end up with more honor, and honorable kills, than active participants in the same battleground.

The Workaround:

There’s really no fix for this as this is the byproduct of recently implemented game mechanics and not necessarily a bug. That said, it is reasonable to expect that Blizzard will be examining the issue fairly soon and coming up with a fix. So, should you wish to benefit from this mechanic, now is an excellent time to work on HK location based and cumulative achievements bearing in mind that, in doing so, you are kind of taking advantage and perhaps even being a turd. On the other hand, some players may be inclined to actually learn how to defend and *gasp* call out the incs.

One other interesting edition from 3.2 that may or may not affect your gameplay gold making is that Blizzard has implemented a “Not all of your mail could be delivered. Please delete some to make room” message for when your mailbox is full. It’s not a necessary change but is certainly helpful to those that may not have noticed missing mail or don’t otherwise have helpful mailbox add-ons enabled.

Have you experienced these or similar bugs?

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Funny Money- Herding Morons

Starting this week we are taking our weekly Funny Money column in a new direction. We will no longer adhere strictly to the format we’ve previously used and, instead, will bring you something we find humorous from either WoW or real world finance. We will occasionally revert to the old format, but this change gives us the flexibility to play with the column a bit and, we feel, better serve our readers.

This week we’d like to tell you about herding morons. We recently read a piece from The Greedy Goblin about his frustrations with trying to get people to adhere to a cohesive strategy in the battlegrounds. Specifically, he points out his efforts in Alterac Valley. This struck a nerve with one of our team members who wanted to point out that, after much frustration trying to do the same, he finally figured out the perfect way to “herd morons”. All it takes is a little reverse psychology apparently.

Now, with tongues firmly planted in cheek, we share with you his custom built macro that gets the AV morons to do EXACTLY as he asks. Simply build a macro that announces the following to the entire battleground:

“Grps 1-3 hide in mines and go AFK, Grp 4 tell everyone who is AFK while doing nothing yourself, Grps 5-6 rush and reset boss repeatedly, Grp 7 go D and whine about O (be sure to fight in front of-but not recap- our towers), Grp 8 just ride around and QQ.”

Now you’ve got a stratagy that everyone will follow! You should also note that the above fits perfectly within the macro character limit. Feel free to use it as you see fit.

Have a great week.

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Wintergrasp PVP Becomes Less Profitable

Last night Blizzard announced that they will be changing the quest format for Wintergrasp PVP quests from a daily to a weekly quest system in an effort to better control lag in the zone. Presumably, the aim is to disincentivize players from participating in the battle regularly and thus reduce the amount of lag generated overall. The disappointing aspect of this change, in our opinion, is the significantly lower profit potential for participation. Previously, Wintergrasp was a fantastic use of time in that it offered high-end farming of herbs and ore (and, most recently, even fish) while providing significant gains in honor, honorable kills, and gold and shards. At this point it looks like the new weekly quests will reward the following:

  • 1/7th the amount of gold as the current daily version (same amount of gold for weekly as for daily)
  • Less than ½ the amount of honor (equivalent to 3 days of the old quest)
  • Less than ½ the amount of shards (equivalent to roughly 4 days of the old daily quests)

MMO Champion posted photos of the new quest rewards should you wish to research further.

The irony in the change is that the lag was caused by massive player participation which indicated a large amount of interest in the content. It would seem that the content was too successful and now Blizzard is looking for ways to make it less attractive as opposed to either making alternative content more attractive or finding a way to reduce lag.

In decreasing the rewards for participating in a Wintergrasp battle Blizzard has also increased the opportunity cost of participation. It will be much more difficult to make the decision to join the battle going forward but this was, of course, Blizzard’s intent.

For what it’s worth, Blizzard later stated that they’re still evaluating this change… And yeah, we won’t be holding our breath for a correction either.

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A Tutor for the School of Hard Knocks

Okay, we’re not a PVP blog. Nor are we an achievement blog. We don’t even play one on TV. That said, we’ve heard a ton of complaints from both readers and friends regarding the School of Hard Knocks achievement that is part of the Children’s Week meta-achievement. Earlier today all of the WoWenomics team members completed the hard knocks achievement and we did it on different servers with PUG groups. Naturally, we’ve figured out our own tricks to efficiently complete this (agreeably challenging) PVP component to an otherwise easy holiday event. It is these tips and tricks that we will share with you now.

First of all, it should be noted that all of the WoWenomics team members are in agreement that this achievement will be removed from the meta-achievement required to attain the Long Strange Trip achievement. It is simply of a different degree of difficulty to most players than the other holiday achievements. Blizzard has already stated that they believe that “…all of the goals listed are actually fairly simple to accomplish.” And we know that statement absolutely enrages some players (a look at the official forums confirms). All this is to say that, for now anyway, it is probably best to assume that the requirement will remain.

Breaking Down the Battlegrounds

  • Alterac Valley (Assault a tower)- This one is a big race to a tower. Ideally, you’ve got any skills or items to increase your riding speed increased at your disposal. Once you get into a tower consider using some of the tools of the trade mentioned below. Beyond that, the best way to win the race to a tower is to get a head start. Start auto-running at the gate before it opens. If you’re on the alliance side you can take the high path while others follow the road. This route (behind the tree to the left of the path where it starts to go downhill) takes some skill and practice to get used to but can save you a few seconds in the race if executed correctly. Note, if you don’t have a speed enhancement of some kind it will be more beneficial to stick with the group assuming someone’s got a group riding speed buff up.
  • Arathi Basin (Assault a base flag)- This is probably the easiest of all the BG requirements. Simply be the first to assault a base flag. Note that you’ll have to complete the flag capture to get credit. This doesn’t mean you have to wait for the base to cap, only that you have to complete the flag capture process. For this reason, we do not advise going for the blacksmith unless you’re very fast or have teammates that can and will keep your opponents off of you. To give yourself a head start, pop out your orphan, mount up and begin auto-running into the gate before it opens. You’d be surprised how much of a head start this gives you. There are certain class skills that can also help. For example, a mage can put slow fall on the group and this group can jump off the cliff to the flag at the gold mine or a death knight could put the water walking buff on a group who could then race across any water and directly to the blacksmith. Anything helps here although the easiest way is to go straight to the flag closest to your base (although that’s also the flag with the most competition).
  • Eye of the Storm (Capture a flag)- Here’s where you need the speed tools from the list below. After gaining control of the middle, flag-spawning area, you’ve got to be the first to click the flag and complete the flag attainment process and return it to a friendly base. Any damage you take will interrupt the attainment of the flag. The best way to insure that you are the one with the flag is to begin clicking the space where it will appear just after the flag is capped by either team. A few practice runs and you’ll perfect exactly where it spawns. Note, everyone running straight for the flag is not a good idea as the opposition will take all the bases (since they start off neutral and must be capped) and you’ll have no where to take the flag if you get it.
  • Warsong Gulch (Return a flag)- This one can be tricky. You’ve got to be the person to return a flag to your base after it is captured. Try clicking right above the head of the opposing team’s flag carrier right before he dies. And, for God’s sake people, kill (or stun) the darn healers first or that flag carrier will never die!
  • For all BGs- consider going in pre-made. By far, the best way to get all the achievements done is to go in with a pre-made group (ideally guildmates or friends) and take turns completing the various tasks.

Tools of the Trade

These items are all standard issue to regular PVPers. You might want to use them yourself if your class’s skills don’t have any of the abilities they grant.

  • Turbo boost- there are various consumables, items and trinkets that will boost your run speed. Use them. Consider using them one after another in cases where there is not a shared cool down. The situational need for a speed boost should be obvious and, if it’s not, it will become so after an attempt or two.
  • Flask of Chromatic Wonder- This is our favorite PVP flask because it adds to our resistance while boosting all stats. Both of these functions are helpful for PVP. Generally you don’t want to use elixirs for buffs in PVP, as it can get expensive as the deaths stack up.
  • Small mount- this is not the time for the mammoth. You want to be harder to hit and that means being smaller. Clickers will have a harder time hitting you if you lower your size. Further, you’ll be harder to see. It’s a small thing (lame pun intended), but every bit counts.
  • Invisibility potions- if you’re class cannot stealth, you’ll want a couple of these in your inventory and on your hot bar. They’re perfect for sneaking by AV turtles or past tower defenses. Just remember that any damage will take away the buff so avoid AoE spells on your way to your goal.
  • Nets, snags and snares- both engineers and tailors can use their professions to create snares. Almost every class can stun or snare an opponent in some way. Use these tools to your advantage and cap the flag first, then fight.

Dirty Tricks (we don’t endorse these tricks but we’ve seen them used and can confirm that they work-use at the risk of your reputation and karma)

  • Let someone else do the work- The most common tactic, if you can even call it that, is to simply let others do the bulk of the work. In our quest to complete this achievement we repeatedly observed players doing things like waiting for others to fight with tower guards or flag carrying opposing players and then sneak in at the last minute and take the cap. If you’re a good PVPer you don’t need to do this but this is the result of ‘forcing’ non-PVPers into the battlegrounds.
  • Multi-queue- If you want to get in and out and be done with this achievement ASAP the Multi-queue can help. This is where you queue for several battlegrounds at once. The best use of it here is to do AB and AV at the same time. Queue for Arathi Basin and as wait for the invite to come up. Wait until you’ve got less than 30 seconds on the timer to join and then sign up for Alterac Valley. This should give you just enough time to get into AB, race to a flag and cap it. As soon as the invite for AV pops, take it and start that one.
  • Protecting the competition- Now this is a genuine dirty tactic but we observed a few players doing it during our runs today. You can’t cap a flag if you’re immune. If you have some form of immunity that you can put on another player (such as a Palli’s Hand of Protection) and you find yourself about to lose out on the flag cap because they are just in front of you, apply the buff to them and they won’t be able to cap. Again, we don’t recommend this as it can really piss people off but, if nothing else, it is helpful to be aware of this tactic in the event it is used against you in which case just be prepared to click the buff off.
  • Trade achievements with the opposing team- One of our team members reported being in a WSG match today where it seemed players were trading off opportunities to take and then drop and return the opposing team’s flags. Our team member said that at one point he took the opposing team’s flag and tried to return it and was yelled at by his own teammates who wanted him to drop it and let the other side have it back for the credit. They went as far as to stand by and let our friend die when he tried to return it. While the other ‘dirty tricks’ above are bad ideas because they’re, perhaps, morally wrong, this one is just plain cheating and violates the ToS. Our WoWenomics team member’s subsequent conversation with a GM on the matter confirms this. Don’t do it. Play the game to the best of your ability and you’ll get it done eventually.

One Final Tip

Don’t forget to have your little orphan out when you complete a BG achievement. Nothing is more frustrating than forgetting this simple step and not getting credit.

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Funny Money- 19 April 2009

Funny Money is a weekly column published at the end of the week with the intent to have a little fun with the world of finance. Every weekend we’ll bring you a financial quote, a song relating to money, something interesting from the real world of business and a quick WoW gold making tip. Read on and have some fun…

Money Quote

“Taxation WITH representation ain’t so hot either.”
-Gerald Barzan

The Sounds of Prosperity

Supply and Demand
-The Hives

Funny Business

As the US dollar continues to lose value against rival currencies, one artist has found new uses for it.

Weekend Gold Tip

Be sure to loot the corpses of the dead in your battlegrounds when you can. This can be particularly lucrative in areas of heavy battle, such as the keep area in Wintergrasp towards the end of the PVP event.

Bonus: A Gem of Humor from the Official WoW Forums

Ever wonder if Blizzard’s ‘blue posters’ tell their guild mates about their WoW jobs? One forum poster asks the question and gets a response from a blue. Hilarity ensues. For a concise version with only the blue responses, check out the WoWFix version.

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