Monday, May 21, 2012

WoW Ironman Challenge - Ironstevo Update

For anyone wondering, Ironstevo is still alive and well. He is about 75% of the way through level 83 and he is very slowly and steadily inching his way toward 84. He is also getting a little more nervous as he's moving forward. Heck, he's practically afraid of his own shadow right now.

Random disconnects are the biggest fear at this point. I've been pretty lucky recently as far as those go (knock on wood). When I first created Ironstevo, and the original Ironsteve, I was disconnected several times and thankfully saved by my pets each time while I was frantically trying to log back in. If I get dc'd with my poofy blue marshmallow out now, I think I'll stand a chance against wotlk mobs, but not cata mobs. For this reason I am sticking to Northrend hopefully until level 85, so long as I can continue gaining xp as I have been the last few levels.

That isn't the only reason I'm sticking to Northrend however. Cataclysm mobs have FAR more hit points and hit incredibly hard compared to npcs in Northrend. One cata mob I can take on, and it's not easy. If I make a sloppy pull and grab a second -- that could be the end. With Northrend quests only giving slightly less xp than cata quests, I'd rather not take the extra risk and just do a few more Northrend quests to get there.

I've managed to make it to this point without touching any of the quests in Icecrown or Stormpeaks (minus the ones to open up the Knights of the Ebon Blade dailes). Hopefully the quests in those zones will still yield ~20k xp at 84. I started the opening quest-line to open up the Sons of Hodir dailies as well, but then got too chicken to finish them. I know that a couple of the other Ironman challengers that made it to the end were able to open them up but I'm not willing to try the quest The Drakkensryd. The thought of not having my marshmallow by my side scares me, but what scares me more than anything is the thought of falling to my death. I know I can complete the quest without my pet, I've done this quest several times on pet classes before (both a hunter and my gnome lock, each at level 78). Ironstevo has enough health now (20489hp) to be able to stand a very good chance against those crazy blue ladies. The mobs can even be dotted up at range before moving to the next drake and killed with minimal risk. As far as I know though, there is still an incredibly tiny chance that I could be dismounted by another player while doing the quest. A couple of years ago I fell to my death when I was fighting one of the drake-riders. The drake I was fighting on just...vanished, and I had no idea what happened. The same thing happened to my husband a few weeks later, and after some research we figured out that when another player spears the drake that your fighting on it de-spawns. Just *poof* gone. I'm not sure if this is still the case, and the odds of it happening are probably incredibly small if it is, but those are odds I am not willing to take. Without some type of slowfall and not being allowed to use potions, a vanishing drake would certainly = death.

So that being said, I have still opened up a decent amount of dailies. I've been doing the Argent Tournament ones where I snagged Ironstevo one of the only titles he will probably see until they become an account-wide thing in mop. In Sholazar Basin he's done enough to pick up his Mysterious Egg, hopefully we'll see some Green Proto-Drake love in a few days. I've been doing a couple of the Knights of the Ebon Blade dailies as well, but the two dailies which are giving the best experience right now are The Way to His Heart (which scales by level, 44k xp at level 83) and Thieving Little Pluckers (32k xp at 83).

Treasure chests are still proving to be a HUGE added chunk of experience for Ironstevo as well. The ones in Howling Fjord, Borean Tundra and Grizzly Hills have just started to decrease in the amount of xp they give (roughly 17k rested at level 83), but experience is experience so I'm still looking for them. The rest of the chests I'm finding in Northrend are still giving about 44k xp.

When dailies are finished and chests have been found I do a few green quests. I recently did a good portion of Sholazar Basin where I came across a pretty cool ring called Flores' Lost Seal of Approval. It filled a blank ring slot for Ironstevo, and after looking it up on wowhead apparently people actually farm for this thing for their bank toons. =)

Ironstevo's sweet new ring!
I've got a lot of painting to do around my house this week, and this weekend coming up I'll be away visiting my parents out of state; so I won't have an another Ironstevo update for probably a couple of weeks. Until then, cross your fingers and hold your breath!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Eversong Woods Rare Spawns

Eversong Woods is one of my favorite zones in the game. I absolutely love the landscape -- the trees, the colors, the blood elf architecture; it's all so gorgeous. In fact it's so beautiful, that I have to stop myself from taking screenshots just about every two minutes when I'm there. Eversong Woods is also home to only two rares. Blizzard really skimped out on newbie blood elves...

Those rares are Tregla - a level 10 troll, and Eldinarcus - a level 11 mana surge (elemental). Neither are particularly difficult. My naked iron priest had no trouble downing either of them at level.

Their spawn timers are fairly short, and with so few people leveling through Eversong nowadays they are fairly likely to be up if you go looking for them.

Click Map to Enlarge
Tregla & Eldinarcus
My newest Ironman getting some amazing xp from these guys. ~

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Treasure Chests & Why you should be looking for them

Reason #1: This screenshot below~

Ironstevo finding a treasure chest in Howling Fjord
Getting experience from treasure chests is one thing, but this is just insane! Granted this chest was found while Ironstevo was rested (which gives double xp), but even not at rested this chest would have given 21k xp! There are chests all over the world (not just in Northrend) that give experience for those who find them. Even after hitting level 80 Ironstevo has still been getting full experience from these.

Reason #2: Treasure!! These chests can contain some great loot. My ironman toons are nearly drowning in all of the blues they've gotten from these. I've also gotten multiple Books of Glyph Mastery, blue quality jewelcrafting designs, potions, elixirs and gems out of them! Even Ironsteve (my level 46 druid) is nabbing experience and low-level blues from chests; so whatever level you are, and wherever you are you should be looking for these!

Reason #3: They really aren't difficult to find when you know where to look.

If you want to start finding these things, the first thing I would recommend doing is download the addon GatherMate2 along with GatherMate2_Data. GatherMate2 (the newest version of GatherMate) shows the locations of not only these treasure chests, but also herbs, mining nodes, fish pools and other sought after items once you've found them. It is also important to download GatherMate2_Data along with it, because this will import the data required to show locations of treasure that you haven't found yet.

Once you have GatherMate2 and the supporting data downloaded into your WoW Addons folder, when you next log in you'll notice GatherMate 2 under your AddOns tab. To import the database so that you can begin finding treasure go to the "import" option, check off Treasure and then click the red button that says "Import GatherMate2Data". (See screenshot below) You will get a confirmation that the data has been imported in your chat window.

GatherMate2Data Import (Click to Enlarge)
You may need to play around with some of the settings to get it the way you like depending on where you are and what you would like to find, but once you've got it all set up you should be able to see the nodes on your zone map and your mini-map. The map below is an example of a map with the locations of several different types of treasure chests. When you scroll over a node a text box will appear indicating what type of treasure chest you can find there. Some nodes can have more than one type of chest spawn in that location. In the screenshot below I have scrolled over a node that could potentially spawn a Sturdy Treasure Chest or a Solid Chest.

Sholazar Basin Treasure Chest Locations (Click to Enlarge)
In my searches for these chests I have found a lot. When I say a lot, I really do mean a LOT. My video below is only an example of a  fraction of the chests I've found but it should demonstrate the fact that they are indeed not difficult to find. ~

I would also like to point out that (in Northrend) there can be at least two up in any zone at a time (perhaps more, but I haven't seen this yet myself). I'm still trying to figure out how their spawn timers work, but from what I have gathered so far they seem similar to other rare spawns (the ones that fight back) around Northrend. Like most rares these chest are also much easier to find at odd hours such as early in the morning. The past couple of mornings I've been able to find roughly 7-8 while having my coffee. When I look in the evening I'm lucky if I can find 2 or 3.

UPDATE (5/24/2012):
Ok, so I've been flying around Northrend looking for these chests like crazy for the past couple of weeks and I'd like to note a couple of things. There CAN certainly be more than two up at a time in a particular zone. I rarely find three up in one zone, but I do occasionally -- and just this afternoon I found FOUR up at once in Sholazar Basin. Spawn points also seem completely random. More info to follow as I find things out...

Friday, May 11, 2012

WoW Ironman Challenge - The Final Countdown

"Always watch your back..."
I wanted to give a quick update on Ironstevo before I dive straight into talking about the lovely treasure chests he's been finding recently (I'm saving that for it's own post which I'm currently working on). Ironstevo has hit level 80 as of two nights ago and he's still alive!! I honestly can't believe that he's made it this far! ^-^

Ironstevo finds another Treasure Chest
Hold your breath, cross your fingers, pray to whatever deity you can, these last five levels are going to be treacherous. Northrend mobs now only give 10% xp, so Ironstevo is relying on quests and chests to move forward. I have no intention of taking him to any of the Cataclysm zones until I have exhausted my options in Northrend. At level 80 Ironstevo has a mere 7874 hit points, even his squishy voidwalker is only sitting at 11326. I imagine the mobs in the Cataclym starting zones would easily destroy him in 2-3 hits at this point.

I'm not going to rush, I'm planning these last levels out very VERY carefully. Ironstevo is questing in Grizzly Hills at the moment where quests are giving him between approx. 16,000 - 21,000 xp. When (and if) he makes it to 81 he'll probably be heading over to Zul'Drak. The goal is to keep quests as low level as possible while still gaining max experience from them. 

So stay tuned! News will either be very very good within the next couple of weeks for Ironstevo or very very bad. Either way, it should be interesting. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Ironstevo Dings 75 & Finds Some "Safe" XP

Ironstevo hit level 75 last night. Holy moly, I can't even believe it! He's the number two warlock in the world currently on the leaderboard. He's also number one for the forsaken! Hurrah for the undead! =D

He's had a few close calls in the past week, but no deaths yet...thank kittens!

Ironstevo is currently questing through Borean Tundra and The Howling Fjord, and has been popping back and forth between those two zones since he hit 72. From 70-72 he did a mixture of Outland quests in Blade's Edge, Shadowmoon Valley and Nagrand, as well as dailies on the Isle of Quel'Danas. He did a bit of grinding to kill some of his massive rested xp as well in Borean Tundra on neutral mammoths for about half a level. He's also finally opened up all of the Kalu'ak dailies, and has been doing those religiously since.

A Close Call:

Ironstevo has had one very close call worth mentioning, and that was totally my fault for not quite paying 100% attention. I was doing the quest The Jig is Up along with The Frozen Heart of Isuldof, which were nerfed recently (the NPC's in the cave are no longer elite), so I figured I'd give them a shot. Although not elite anymore, both Jonah and Hozzer did have quite a large amount of health compared to everything I had been fighting so far. I figured it was worth a shot though, if things were to go bad I could always sacrifice my voidwalker and run out of the cave entrance which I had cleared behind me. Feeling confident enough I sent my voidwalker in, and even summoned my Doomguard to help dps. When Jonah got low on health Jonah yelled his crazy person rant and jumped below to get eaten by Hozzer. Not quite thinking I jumped right down practically right on top of Hozzer, who to my surprise wanted to eat my face off. For some reason I thought that Hozzer was still sleeping -- but he wasn't, and he was pissed! Of course at this point my voidwalker was like 8 million miles away because I had jumped down. I was also low on health because of the falling damage I took, and from Hozzer's first few initial smacks. I sacrificed my poor voidwalker and turned around for half a second while running like a wee little girl to hit Hozzer with Death Coil, which thankfully healed me almost to full. I kept running up the ramp toward the entrance to the cave until FINALLY my slow ass voidwalker joined me to help out. He was low on health and I was low on mana at this point, but a few dots, wanding and Health Funnel (which I do not feel all too comfortable using as an Ironman Challenger) were enough to get us through the ordeal. After a near heart attack, I logged for the night.

Alternative XP:

In order to keep a nice cushion in levels between Ironstevo and the zones he has been questing in, I've been looking for alternative was to gain xp without putting him at risk, and without having to grind. I've found that treasure chests are flippin' AMAZING xp. Check out the screenshot below:

This screenshot was taken when Ironstevo found a chest while rested. When not rested the xp is half of that shown above -- which is still quite phenomenal. Quests at Ironstevo's level right now are giving about 20k xp -- so finding a chest while not rested is essentially equal to one quest turn in, and one found at rest is equal to two! This morning before I went to work I did a quick run around the Howling Fjord looking for chests and found two up within about 3 minutes, so it seems that more than one can be up in a zone at a time. =D

I think these chests are an amazing find for Ironman Challengers as well as people leveling normally. As a matter of fact, I plan on doing a post in the future with a little more information about what addons can help you find these little buggers, so stay tuned!

Even Ironsteve the druid (now level 45) has been finding a bunch of chests to help move him along quicker. ~