Dec 30, 2007

Taking a break from collecting Netherwing Eggs, the Gold Team made a quick incursion into Karazhan. We cleared it quickly, killing everyone in one shot, except for the prince who made us kill him the second time around (stupid infernals). The same old stuff seemed to drop off everyone except for the Prince. He dropped my Nathrezim Mindblade. I quickly threw a +40 spell damage enchant on it, equipped my Jewel of Infinite Possibilities and went out to see how my damage was (I did have to remove a Runed Living Ruby from my Boots of Foretelling and put in a Veiled Noble Topaz. So I lost 4 damage, but gained 4 hit rating. I was already 2 below the max hit rating, and the Mindblade and Jewel made me lose 2 more hit rating, so the new Topaz worked perfectly and I am now at a perfect 164 spell hit.

Now...back to the Netherwing Ledge.

Dec 29, 2007

After completing some daily quests this morning and turning in Netherwing Eggs, I reached friendly status with the Netherwing earlier today. That opened up even more quests and I'm now over 2/3rds of the way towards honored.

After finishing all those Netherwing quests, I did my daily cooking quest, some Skettis quests and had one more daily to do so I chose one of the 4 in Blade's Edge. I think this is the first time I've done all 10 daily quests. I currently stand at over 350g, and if I hadn't loaned 150g to Dylana for her epic flight form, I'd be able to pay back Vetarra in just one day.

With all my questing done, there was one thing left to do for Winter's Veil. After hearing that all the recipes didn't go out as planned, the Smokeywood Pasture workers offered up their patterns for sale directly. Since Red Winter Clothes were for Alliance and Green Winter Clothes were for Horde, they were each for sale in Ironforge and Orgrimmar, respectively. So I set off for Orgrimmar to retrieve a green winter pattern of my own. I ran past a few guards at the door, blinked away from the ones following me and popped invisibility. I was able to find the Winter Veil tree while invisible, but didn't see the Smokeywood Pasture vendors. After looking around some more, I found them, but at that point had 5-8 guards on me. I tried to buy from the vendor, but an unfriendly Tauren named Loader decided to attack me even though I was dressed in my winter clothes and not displaying any hostility, and he killed me. I ran back, ressurected at the vendor, bought the pattern, and ported back to Shattrath. So I can now craft Green Winter Clothes as Alliance. I am quite happy.

Dec 28, 2007

What a great day it's been! When I made it back to my Scryer bank mailbox, the lovely Vetarra had sent me 500g. With that, I had enough to travel to Wildhammer Stronghold and train in the artisan skill of riding. I then booked it over to Blackwind Landing and purchased a very beautiful Silver Riding Nether Ray. It is downright ridiculous how fast this mount moves. I was able to fly from Skettis to Coilfang Reservoir faster than I could have ridden a gryphon.

I also proceeded to Netherwing Ledge where I had a bunch of quests to do. I quickly found a Netherwing Egg and turned it in. Vetarra also showed me where I could find more eggs and I found one more. I then killed some couriers flying the crystals back and forth and also poisoned some of the grunts mining the crystals.

Aracely then asked if I wanted to run a heroic, and though I don't need badges, I'm up for a heroic usually. I wanted to go to either Steamvaults, Shattered Halls or Arcatraz as I still had all three Trial of the Naaru quests. We chose Steamvaults which was doubly good for me since I need reputation there still. We struggled on one pull for some reason, but other than that had a great run. I made it out with 2,200 rep after turning in 5 coilfang armaments, but the best part of the run was...drumroll please...Formula: Enchant Bracers - Fortitude! Woohoo! Just three to go - Savagery from Shattered Halls, 2H Major Agility from Arcatraz and Boots - Dexterity from Auchindon.

And's quite hard to spend all that gold in one fell swoop.

((Looking at that last screenshot there, it says I earned 73g per hour over the last week - not too shabby. However, a lot of that was earned from a banking alt, which, now that I think about it isn't a big deal since I earned all those runecloth stacks and winterfall firewater on Tiddlywinks. The only thing that really skews that number is the 500g lump sum influx I received from Vetarra. But still, I made upwards of 60g an hour over the last week. And yes, I was saving money, but I wasn't out grinding items that would sell high. I was out grinding reputation and doing dailies. That's about it.
Yesterday, I managed to sell over 20 stacks of Runecloth that I had picked up while grinding Timbermaw and Cenarion Circle reputation. I also sold my Stockade Pauldrons cheaply (50g) and I'm now within 500g of my epic flying mount. So when I saw the guild banker online, I asked her what the bank policy was on loans. Unfortunately, our guild bank does not make loans, as all gold deposited is currently earmarked for new tabs. With my good friend Dylana currently working on saving for his epic flight form (she will probably be learning it this weekend), she was unavailable to lend me the money. However, the queen herself, Eirama stepped in and offered to foot the bill.

I should have mail waiting in my mailbox when I return to the Scryer bank and then I will be off to get trained. However, if she is not available tonight, Vetarra graciously offered to also loan me 500g, so I might take her up on the offer tonight. I also have some other auctions up currently, so I'm hoping I can pay either Eirama or Vetarra back by the end of this long weekend, making it a very short loan.

Thankfully I am part of such a loving, helpful, and friendly guild where everyone goes out of their way to help others and, while relaxed, we are making steady advancements in raid progression.

Dec 27, 2007

Well, late last night, I did it! Exalted with the Cenarion Circle. And what do I get for all my hard work and effort? Nothing. Zip. Zero. Zilch.

Next up...Timbermaw or Argent Dawn?

It'll probably be Netherwing. Will start work on their reputation this weekend when I amass 5,000g for epic flying.

Dec 26, 2007

I don't know why people are selling them so cheap, but I got a Jingling Bell for my very own reindeer for just 3g and a Snowman Kit for only 2g! I've stocked up on the snowballs and plan on having a reindeer, snowman, or green helper out whenever I can!

I am currently also at 17,134 out of 21,000 towards exalted with the Cenarion Circle. I am also carrying with me 2 complete twilight trappings sets along with some extra robes and mantles. I also have 3 abyssal crests on me and 2 large brilliant shards. So I should be able to turn in 3 abyssal crests with the large brilliant shards for the twilight medallion and turn in the signets for 700 rep each (if the drops cooperate). That, combined with the 32 twilight texts on me plus whatever other texts drop should get me to exalted tonight! Updates forthcoming...
While farming both Timbermaw and Cenarion Circle rep these past few days, I've come across my fair share of cards, world drops, and other random greens. But more than anything, I've come across runecloth, and lots of it. So yesterday I put up 25 stacks on the auction house, severely undercutting everyone and, lo and behold, when I checked my mailbox later, every stack sold. Could I have made a little more money by listing them at a higher rate? Probably. I probably could have even made more Red Winter Clothes from them as I've sold about 10 sets for about 8g each over the past 10 days. But I wanted to make some quick money and that was the easiest way. Each stack sold for about 2.5g and I netted a cool 63g or so. Not too bad when all I've had to do is stop by a town every so often and mail the runecloth to a friendly Dranei Shaman who puts them on auction for me.

I also have listed a stack of Greater Eternal Essences and Illusion Dust on the auction house, but haven't checked to see if it sold yet. Those stacks come courtesy the greens I am able to disenchant. I'm hoping they sell since I can make much more money disenchanting those items than selling them to the local vendors.

On a completely unrelated note, I recently lamented the fact that I didn't get a reindeer this year, but instead a Red Helper (I also picked up a Green Helper at the auction house). Well, just like the Green Helper I picked up at the auction house, I hear that you can find a Jingling Bell at the auction house as well as a Snowman Kit! I shall have to check tonight to see if I can pick those up at a reasonable price. I found my green helper for only 15g and would be willing to pay up to 25g each for those other beautiful pets (especially the reindeer).

I am also getting quite near my 5,200g needed for my epic flying mount. Even though I have bought a few things for myself recently, I also have been selling quite a few nice items at auction. But if I can't make it to 5,200 by Saturday or Sunday, I will be hitting up some guildmates for a loan - after all, I hear those Netherwing daily quests have nice monetary rewards.

While these ramblings focus on my life as a gnome mage, stop on by for some good discourse on my druid friends. A clean, easy to read layout and insightful articles make this journal a must-visit!

Dec 25, 2007

It's a shame that Winter's Veil has to come to an end, but I stocked up on snowballs in anticipation of receiving a reindeer, but instead received a Red Helper Box. It's a cute little gnome dressed in a Holiday Outfit and he matches me perfectly - except I don't have a red hat. So I went out and bought a Green Helper Box and today my Green Helper has been following me around. I also received a Mechanical Greench who will fight for me when summoned. On top of all of that, Greatfather Winter also had a Clockwork Rocket Bot for me (not listed on WowHead yet).

After collecting my Winter Veil presents, I headed to Silithus as Flamehelix had reminded me that reputation was fairly easy to grind there as Encrypted Twilight Texts are now worth 50 reputation each (a turn in of 10 yields 500 rep). I've since done 7 turn ins, completed a quest which used to require a raid, but now can be solo'd and also turned in 9 Abyssal Crests. With that, I've gone from 400 rep into revered to 6,000 rep. I am now almost 30% of the way to exalted. Back to the text collection...

Dec 23, 2007

Man, what a crazy day while grinding. First, this morning I find the Two of Elementals. Then, while in Stratholme, I found some Stockade Pauldrons. And now, while farming Timbermaw rep, I find the Three of Elementals and the Viking Warhammer which Stogen can use in our guild. A long, interesting day.
Today I ventured into Stratholme with Eirama and a couple of our younger members. I was able to complete the Active Agent quest which rewarded me with a nice new Rune of the Dawn. On top of that though, I also acquired a good number of scourgestones, and after turning everything in, including the quests, I was up over 3,400 reputation. I am now at 8,000 out of 21,000 rep. So close to exalted.

I'm currently heading back to Felwood to grind more Timbermaw rep. I'm half way through Honored at the current time. Grind grind grind...

Dec 22, 2007

I have visited Karazhan so many times I had forgotten about the enchanting formulas that dropped in there. Until tonight, that is. Tada! Enchant Boots - Surefooted are mine! A couple more to go...where are you Soulfrost and Sunfire?
Late last night, I finally achieved honored status with the Wintersaber Trainers. That opened up a new quest which involves the killing of eight large elite giants. Luckily for me, they are quite easy and I'm on my way to revered! This morning, I continued with my Frostsaber Trainer grind and also turned in all the Winterfall Beads I had accumulated. That gave me a nice boost in Timbermaw rep and I'm now also a quarter of the way to revered with the Timbermaw. Eirama also sent me a couple coins from Zul'Gurub that I needed and I am now Friendly with the Zandalar tribe and can craft both Bloodvine Boots and enchant Brilliant Mana Oil. It's a tedious process, but I'm getting there...

Dec 21, 2007

Darklight Resolution had their weekly Guild Night last night and I had the pleasure of leading a raid on Zul'Gurub. We started small, worked our way up to 15 people, and ended with the Panther Boss at 10 men and women. We quickly blasted through five bosses and Ghaz'ranka (no, Polymorph: Turtle did not drop). We saw tons of coins and bijous and in the end, I ended up with 2,858 reputation with the Zandalar tribe, just 142 reputation short of friendly, or just 142 reputation short of Pattern: Bloodvine Boots, Formula: Brilliant Mana Oil, and Zandalar Illusionist's Wraps. The cuffs dropped twice, so after giving the first set to the level 60 mage, Nightsage that accompanied us, I grabbed the second set. Yet another item to fill up my bank, but that set would look pretty good.

Dec 18, 2007

Running the numbers again, my new War Staff I plan on picking up next week will grant me 1 additional hit, 42 additional crit, 40 additional damage, and 29 resilience at the cost of just 6 stamina and 9 intellect. A very simple tradeoff to make.

However, right now, I can purchase the Merciless Gladiator's Spellblade and combine it with either the Jewel of Infinite Possibilities (which I own) or the Fetish of the Primal Gods (which I have the badges to purchase). The other option is the Flametongue Seal (which gives the most pure damage).

What it basically comes down to is trading some stats for damage. In the end, the War Staff is the best option. However, if I were to spend 1,125 more arena points to put the Spellblade with the Vengeful Gladiator's Endgame, the net effects are: plus 3 stamina, 35 damage, and 16 resilience at the cost of 3 intellect, 9 hit, and 42 crit. An interesting tradeoff, but I think keeping the hit and crit for raiding is the best option.

Just one week to go...
Over the weekend, besides fishing, I also joined a 3v3 arena team. Lexten, Panoply and I tried our hand at some 3v3 with extreme DPS and it didn't work out too well. Boomkin+2 mages =/= success in 3v3 apparently. But we got our 10 games in (2-8) and also proceeded to get in the requisite number of matches for 2v2 and 5v5 play. This week I should be pulling in 700-800 arena points, adding to the 2,000 I had previously. The Merciless Gladiator's War Staff is just 3,261 arena points, so this time next Tuesday, I should be able to upgrade to it.

This Thursday, I'm trying to organize a run into Zul'Gurub. It's been quite a while since I've ventured inside, but it is one of my favorite places to go and I'm hoping to get a few guildmates inside and down some bosses. One can never complain about getting what is probably the coolest mount out there - the Swift Zulian Tiger.

Dec 17, 2007

Ahh! So angry I can't get a Green Winter Clothes Pattern! They're a horde only item. I get my Red Winter Clothes, but really want both.

Dec 16, 2007

Today was fishing day. I finally had enough of that measly fishing skill of 17 showing up whenever I looked through my list. I started out in Stormwind fishing the canals and then moved on to Southshore once I had skilled up enough. There I traveled up and down the river fishing for sagefish. I fished a bit in the Arathi Highlands and finally moved on to the Hinterlands where I came across some electric eels in addition to all the other fish I was exposed to. When I hit 210, I traveled to see Nat Pagle in Dustwallow Marsh. He refused to give me the quest to advance until I hit 225, so I fished off his dock for a while.

He then had me search across both continents to find a Feralas Ahi, a Misty Reed Mahi Mahi, a Sar'theris Striker, and a Savage Coast Blue Fin. They were relatively easy to fish up and I returned to Nat Pagle ready to continue my fishing learning. I am now at 225, gaining over 200 skill points today and on my way to 375. Then I shall try my best to acquire Mr. Pinchy.

Dec 15, 2007

Happy Winter Veil!

Today was the first day of Winter Veil, and after seeing all the festivities going on in Ironforge, I was ready to spread the Winter Veil cheer!

After Greatfather Winter requested I make him some Gingerbread Cookies, I headed out to Darkshore and gathered 40 eggs. I quickly ported back to Ironforge, bought some Holiday Spices, and made over 3 dozen cookies! I gave them to Greatfather Winter and was rewarded with a Smokywood Pastures Gift Pack - how kind of him!

I then checked my mail, and waiting inside was a new tailoring pattern and a new cooking recipe! Just for me! I quickly tore into the tailoring pattern and learned how to create Red Winter Clothes! I whipped up a set for myself and also made another set which I traded to Vexxious for a pair of Winter Boots. Now, to complete the set, I have to hunt down a Red Winter Hat. I could spend a good amount of time tomorrow trying to acquire one.

The cooking recipe I received taught me how to craft Hot Apple Cider. I haven't had time to make any yet, but I will quite soon.

After being surprised with free patterns and recipes, I took some time to see what else was going on. Lo and behold, the Southsea Buccaneers had kidnapped Metzen the Reindeer! I quickly hearthed to Gadgetzan, went down to Lost Rigger Cove and recued Metzen. I returned to Ironforge and was rewarded with 5 Preserved Holly for rescuing the poor, helpless reindeer.

I was also told that if I put a pinch of Deeprock Salt in a Holly Preserver Machine along with 5g, I could get 5 more Preserved Holly. I will stockpile these rare gems for use throughout the year on special occasions. I also have stocked up a few snowballs because I have heard rumors that on December 25th, at the end of the Winter Veil holiday, you receive a Jingling Bell in the mail. I will need plenty of snowballs to summon my own little Winter Reindeer.

With all the Winter Veil quests completed, I will be able to enjoy the rest of the holiday season in style. I will hunt down that red hat and spread cheer throughout the land. Of course, my Brewfest Pony Keg will help me in the cause!

Dec 11, 2007

Well, we did it.

It took us a few weeks of learning and practicing, but we have now cleared Karazhan completely without a wipe - in just over 4 hours.

We had quite a bit of fun all the way through - I got to nuke the Curator while the sparks were quickly dealt with by our shaman and a couple of kitties and I was also able to break out my King's Defender on a couple of Arcane Sentries and get my sword skill up. We also perfected our line for loot after the Chess Event. Because if you hand out the items inside before everyone gets their badges, the badges disappear.

Overall, I just barely did the most damage as Nefernetcher was close on my tail. However, I did have to hold back quite a bit since I didn't have salvation. It was quite nice having three druids though - three combat rezzes helped us on a tricky Prince fight.

In the end, we completed every boss, sharded only a few items, and I now have 99 badges of justice that I really don't know how to use. I could buy some haste items. I could buy some PVP items. I just don't know.

Dec 9, 2007

This weekend, I spent most of my time helping my young pupil Barleybux as he is working towards a lot of horde killing in his 39th season. However, I did get my daily quests done each day, including the battleground quest today in Eye of the Storm and also the PvP quest in Hellfire Peninsula. I was quite proud of myself as I had earned almost 90g on the day. However, while organizing my bags, another friendly mage noted that I had mis-socketed my helm. I had a gem in the blue slot that gave extra crit rating - for melee. I quickly went to Ironforge and bought a new gem with extra damage and double checked all my other sockets. They were all good.

Just as I was about to leave Ironforge, I quickly scanned the auction house for patterns and recipes I have not yet learned. Usually I see the same things up there - all out of my price range, but this time, something new. I had seen it once before in my life. It was the Pattern: Rich Purple Silk Shirt. Since I know how rare the pattern is and how hard it is to obtain, I quickly bought out the pattern for an obscene amount of gold, quickly erasing a chunk of gold I have earmarked for an epic mount. But it's worth it. My new Rich Purple Silk Shirt looks much better than my old, cheap, Lavender Mageweave Shirt.

Dec 7, 2007

Today, after completing the daily cooking quest, I finally got the reward I've been after for awhile: Recipe: Stormchops. This is the last recipe I needed from the cooking quests and it's great to have it. The stormchops are fun to eat and now I can make them for myself rather than bumming them off Harkor.

Dec 5, 2007

Looking for possible upgrades now that I basically have everything I've been shooting for, I've found the one item that might make the biggest difference - the Merciless Gladiator's War Staff. This arena staff will provide an upgrade of 1 hit rating, 42 crit, 40 damage, and 29 resilience at the cost of just 6 stamina and 9 intellect. An amazing tradeoff and well worth it. However, it does cost 3,261 arena points. With my recent gains this past week, I am at about 1,750 points. Leaving me 1,500 short. If I get in my weekly 5v5 and 2v2 games, I can buy it in three weeks. However, last week I was unable to get in the 5v5 games due to scheduling conflicts, but I will try much harder over the coming weeks to get those matches in. Of course, the Vengeful Gladiator's Battle Staff would be an even better option adding 5 hit, 46 crit, 62 damage, 29 resilience, and 1 stamina, at the cost of just 5 intellect. But alas, this requires a personal arena rating of 1,850 - a mark I don't think I can reach. We'll see how it goes over the next few weeks, but as I'm currently sitting under 1,500, it's probably an unattainable goal.
For our Karazhan run last night, we had hoped to clear the place in about four hours, besting our previous time and also finishing within the time of our usual raid schedule. However, it was not meant to be. After quickly clearing through Attumen, Moroes and the Maiden, we ran into Romulo and Julianne at the Opera. After quickly downing each of them separately, we started in on them at the same time. After gaining a bit of aggro, I used invisibility, dumped all my aggro, and went all out on Romulo. But apparently he missed me go invisible and came after me. Since he is un-tauntable, Vetarra, our druid tank couldn't pick him up again quickly and he demolished me. An ice block would have been a lifesaver, and my mage trainer has told me that I will be able to learn it soon.

Back to the Maiden of Virtue for a second - last night, for the first time, she decided to drop my boots! The Boots of Fortelling are now mine. After we downed the Curator, we took our normal break, so I ported back to Shattrath (more on that later) and then used the free port to Ironforge. In Ironforge, I grossly overspent on a Runed Living Ruby and a Great Dawnstone. I also then paid way too much for a Large Prismatic Shard as I needed just one more to enchant the boots with Boar's Speed. So my new boots now offer an additional 3 stamina, 5 intellect, 2 critical strike, and 6 damage. A very nice upgrade all around - at the cost of no stats.

So when I said "more on that later" regarding the Curator, here's the "more." He finally dropped the Gloves of the Fallen Hero. This is another first time drop in Karazhan and I can't even count how many times we've been there and downed both the Maiden and the Curator. There were no hunters in our party at the time and Nefernetcher had already picked up the gloves on a PUG previous to our group formation (we were lucky enough to find Nefernetcher hanging out in the Looking For Group channel one night we were short a raider and he is now a member of Darklight Resolution and a permanent member of the Gold Team - a valued asset and all around great guy). So that left the gloves to me. Now, I'm in no position yet to break my Spellfire set bonus, but the complete Tier Four set would be amazing to have, and I now have the Gloves of the Aldor - the reason I originally ported to Shattrath instead of straight to Ironforge.

After the Curator, we plowed through Aran, Illhoof, and Netherspite and ended up back on the dreaded Prince. We failed in our first two attempts due to absolutely horrific elemental drops, but prevailed in our third attempt. With the Helm of the Fallen Hero being the only item left in Karazhan I really would like (well, I guess the Mindblade too), the Prince decided to drop neither. So I will return, continue to rack up badges with nothing to buy, and pray that the Prince will eventually drop my helm. Off to work out some calculations on how the Gloves could fit into my set. PvP gear perhaps?

Dec 4, 2007

Last night, the combined forces of Darklight Resolution and The Protectorate ventured back into Gruul's Lair. With a new strategy, we were ready to take down Gruul after we downed Maulgar on two attempts (somehow, as I was tanking Krosh, he hit me with a blast wave - didn't think I was close enough...).

So we went into Gruul's Lair and began our attempts. We got quite far in our first attempt of the night with our new strategy - just under 50%. Our second attempt didn't go well at all, but on our third and final attempt (we had a few people who had to leave early), we had a very good attempt - our best ever. We got him down to 27%, and even though I died early - I had a cave-in on my hiding spot and got flung next to a couple people who had more hit points than I - I still somehow managed to top the damage meters after the fight was over. I just wish I could have stayed up longer - or at least had another chance at Gruul.

We'll get him soon. Karazhan tonight I believe. See if we can beat our full clear in 4.5 hours.

Dec 1, 2007

Tonight, the Gold Team went back to the dreadful Zul'Aman and triumphed over Akil'Zon, the Eagle Aspect. He took a few tries, but eventually succumbed to our superior fire power and strategy. Instead of trying to collapse on one person in the outer ring, we all collapsed on the tank in the middle. We also just ignored the eagles and we were able to defeat the evil eagle.

After that, we moved on towards Halazzi. There were quite a few mobs to clear along the way, including one that had a nasty buff on it which increased movement speed by 200% and reduced casting time by 300%. He used it to cast a fireball volley aimed at almost everyone in the group almost instantly. I was able to spellsteal his buff and it was amazing! I was casting almost instant fireballs. However, he also liked to break sheeps quite often, so even if I had the haste buff, I couldn't do too much with it as I was resheeping most of the time. We had a couple of tries on Halazzi before it got too late to continue and it was good to see what we need to do to kill him. He's a tough fight, dealing a lot of damage, placing totems down that need to be instantly killed, and spreading around chain lightning. This guy may take us longer to master than Akil'Zon, but I feel once we get the encounter down, future kills should not be hard to repeat.

Before we left Zul'Aman for the night, we attempted to complete a quest which had us visit Akil'Zon's platform, Halazzi's room, and Jan'Alai's platform. We had completed the first two objectives, but have not gotten to Jan'Alai yet. So, we decided to see if we could zerg Jan'Alai. We all mounted up, I equipped my Riding Crop and we were off. I think I made it the furthest of all because I had a couple of people in front of me who were carrying some mobs behind them, but in the end, none of us were able to make it up to his platform. Oh well, another day, another time.

Akil'Zon dropped the Signet of Ancient Magics which I won. I was conflicted as to whether or not I should take it, but since no one else really needed it, Legionaire and I rolled and I beat him out. After collecting the required amount of troll tusks for the Tuskin' Raiders quest, I turned them in, located Zungam on our way to Halazzi, and was rewarded with a Charmed Amani Jewel which I threw in the Signet. I threw a 12 spell damage enchant on the ring and I'm still conflicted. The Signet gives me a nice stamina upgrade, a couple extra damage and intellect, but I lose a good amount of crit rating. I might just use the ring for PvP, or it could replace the ring I'm currently wearing. Oh yeah, the signet also has mana regeneration on it, so I might use it for that reason as well. Some of these fights are quite long and I can use all the mana I can get. I guess we'll just have to test the rings on our next trip to Karazhan or Zul'Aman and see which works better.

Nov 29, 2007

Last night, while working on obtaining the Crescent Key, I also was able to get a new recipe for Runn Tum Tuber Surprise. I unfortunately couldn't find any tubers in Dire Maul last night, but will look for them again tonight. Either way, with my cooking skill at the highest point, rather than focusing on creating better foods, I'm looking to create rare foods. I'm sure those who enjoy Stormchops (thanks Harkor for cooking some up for me...I have yet to find this recipe in a crate of meat), would also enjoy the Tuber Surprise.
Last night, after my dailies, I enlisted the help of Harkor and Llyr to obtain my Crescent Key. We quickly cleared through Dire Maul as necessary and Pusillin was no match for us. With my new key in hand, I entered Dire Maul north and starting killing ogres until the Gordok Shackle Key dropped. I then happened upon a kind goblin named Knot Thimblejack who was being held by the ogres. Before I released him, he offered to teach me how to make a Gordok Ogre Suit. I thanked him for the information and released him from his chains. Apparently, even while chained to the floor in this remote part of Azeroth, he had still managed to collect some precious items, which he gave me in exchange for his release. One of the items within his cache was the Ogre Tannin required to make my own ogre suit! I quickly gathered up the necessary items from my pack, sat down, and used my skills to create a disguise that makes me look exactly like one of the Gordok ogres.

However, after donning the ogre suit, I became greedy and wanted to get some more ogre tannin for another suit. I figured, dressed as a Gordok ogre, the other Gordoks wouldn't attack me. Boy was I wrong. They not only attacked me, they beat me to a pulp after catching up with me following my frost nova and blink. After waiting a while, I decided to go back into Dire Maul to see what Knot was up to this time. And lo and behold, there he was, captured again! However, after killing countless ogres for well over an hour, I was unable to find the one ogre that was carrying the keys to Knot's shackles. I plan on venturing back inside Dire Maul later today, because, besides wanting to free Knot, I have heard rumors that Knot occasionally comes across a tailoring pattern he does not need. A tailoring pattern I would very much like to have.

It may take me a while, but eventually I will get the patterns for Mooncloth Gloves, Cloak of Warding, Felcloth Gloves, Inferno Gloves, and last, but certainly not least, the Belt of the Archmage. All these patterns cannot be found anywhere else other than Knot's cache and they cannot be traded once found. The only way for me to learn these patterns is to find them in his cache. Unfortunately, I have realized that I might need to kill the guards rather than the regular Gordok Ogres as they have a much higher chance of carrying the key to release Knot. And I found out last night I cannot kill the guards by myself because they cannot be held in place by my frost nova, nor will they be disoriented by my Dragon's Breath. Perhaps I will have to find someone as bored as me to help out with some Knot Thimblejack runs.

Nov 28, 2007

Yesterday during my usual auction house perusals, while looking for patterns and formulas to complete my tailoring and enchanting skills, I stumbled upon the recipe for a Shadow Hood. Unfortunately, I was not able to figure out how much the pattern was worth, but I figured it was worth a lot to me since I had not seen it at auction before, so I quickly bought it for 80g. The price might have been high, but I needed the pattern, and I'll usually pounce on anything cheaper than 100g. So 80g was almost a steal. And I know one more pattern now.
Monday night, after I was done questing and fighting in arenas, I made my way over to the hall in Stormwind so I could purchase my new Vindicator's Pendant of Conquest. So yesterday, when I was ready to continue questing and raiding, I quickly bought my pendant with my saved honor points and lamented the fact that I had not earned enough arena points to purchase my Vengeful Gladiator's Silk Trousers.

After getting my gear in order, I headed out with the Gold Team to Karazhan. This time, Comador sat out the first few bosses to give Mercreus, a hunter who is also on the Mushrooms of Doom 2v2 team with myself and Nefernetcher, a chance to fill in. He did a great job all the way through Curator and received a new bow from Attumen. On our way through, the Crone finally dropped Legacy. Comador just barely beat out Mercreus on the roll by one point. Congrats to Comador, I know he's been looking for that item for a long time.

Meanwhile, the Maiden refused to drop the Boots of Foretelling for me and the Shard of the Virtuous for the healers. The Curator dropped the Gloves of the Fallen Defender, giving Aracely, our raid leader, his first piece of Tier 4 from within Karazhan. After all these runs, he finally receives a piece. Going forward, we continued to one shot every boss until we hit the Prince. Due to a poorly placed elemental, an unfortunately death due to the shadow nova early in the fight, and my death right near the end due to axes hitting me, we took Malchezaar down to 3% before he killed us. We quickly regrouped and took him down. He once again dropped the Helm of the Fallen Champion. As Harkor was the only Paladin/Rogue/Shaman in the group, he received his third tier four helm. While I continue to wait. Of course Malchezaar also didn't feel like dropping the Nathrezim Mindblade.

Oddly enough, while running the numbers last night, it's a toss-up between which off-hand item I would use with the mindblade. There's three possibilities: Jewel of Infinite Possibilities, Talisman of Nightbane, and Fetish of the Primal Gods. The three vary slightly. The Jewel has spell hit, the Talisman spell crit, and the Fetish has spell haste. I already own the Jewel, but passed on the Talisman the last time we saw it. I might take it the next time it drops. And I have more than enough badges to purchase the Fetish after last night's 22 badges for a full Karazhan clear. With the Mindblade and the Jewel, I lose two hit rating which puts me exactly on the hit cap which is perfect for raiding. I also gain 41 damage and 23 crit at a loss of 24 stamina and 15 intellect. Not a bad tradeoff at all. The Talisman gives me 46 extra damage and 40 extra crit, but I lose 23 hit which I will have to make up elsewhere through re-socketing, or a similar change. The Fetish grants me an extra 55 damage, 23 crit, and 17 haste (which enables faster spell casting) at the cost of 23 hit and only 19 stamina and 16 intellect. If I can figure out a good way to make up the 21 hit rating to reach my max, that is definitely the way to go, so perhaps I don't need the Talisman after all. The only thing is, I need the Prince to drop the Mindblade. And with the way Kara refuses to cooperate, that might never happen.

Nov 27, 2007

Unfortunately, last night I was only able to get in games with Phill the Battle Chicken. We had some really great matches where we completely destroyed the other teams, and a few matches which were amazingly close, and only a couple where we were dominated. We kept our rating above 1500 and I should receive about 380 arena points today. Unfortunately, that's not nearly enough to buy the pants for tonight's Zul'Aman raid, so I am stuck with the Spellstrike set. If it comes down to it though, I could don my Trial-Fire Trousers and the Crown of the Sea Witch which grant me an extra 50 stamina, 40 intellect, and 20 spirit at the cost of 38 hit, 64 crit, and 23 damage. Pretty big tradeoffs. From a pure damage output point of view, it's not a good tradeoff. From a surviveability point of view, it could work. The question is, do I add 500 hit points in exchange for damage output? Will 500 hit points keep me alive that much longer? Or will my extra damage output bring him down that much quicker?

Nov 26, 2007

I've done the calculations and I will not be able to buy my new pants tomorrow unless I can get a 3v3 arena team going. Hopefully I can persuade some of the people in my 5v5 group to join a 3v3 team and then I'm sure I can get Mercreus and maybe Nefernetcher from my 2v2 team. Or perhaps tonight Nefernetcher, Mercreus and I will start a new 3v3 team and I can get somewhere around 800 arena points for the week. I only need 774, so it might be close if our ratings get too low on the 2v2 and 3v3 teams.
A few nights ago, we ventured back into Zul'Aman for the second time in as many days. We made quick work of Nalorakk, falling short of the 20 minute timer by just a couple minutes. We then worked our way through the gauntlet twice getting in quite a few attempts at Akil'Zon. Unfortunately, we were unable to get him under 40%. The fight itself has a few confusing components, and I'm still trying to figure out how exactly we as a team can handle the fight.

I've heard of a few different strategies, but we haven't had much luck with any of them. We've tried killing the eagles and also leaving them alone. We've tried huddling up in anticipation of the storm and we've tried spreading out. We've basically tried everything we've heard of or thought of, but nothing has come of it yet.

What's most upsetting is when a stupid mistake by any one player dooms the whole raid. We have so few shots at Akil'Zon before having to re-run the gauntlet, it is frustrating when one little mistake by anyone can cause a wipe. I'm hoping that with more practice we'll be able to get this guy on farm, but it just gets frustrating when things don't go as planned.

After doing some further research this weekend, I'm going to try wearing some different items to give myself some extra stamina (I haven't run any arena games on either of my teams this week - something I really need to do to get those points - hopefully tonight some players of the 5v5 team will be available after Gruul's Lair). With some PvP gear on, I might be be able to survive some more eagle swoops without taxing the healers. I just ran some quick comparisons and if I can get the Trial-Fire Trousers along with the Collar of the Aldor, I will lose some hit and crit ratings, but gain stamina, intellect, spirit, and damage. I already have the Trousers, and would just have to hope the Curator finally decides to cooperate the next time through Karazhan.

The next step up would be the Vengeful Gladiator's Silk Trousers with the Collar of the Aldor. Again, I lose some hit rating, but gain in every other category, including 43 stamina (versus a gain of 26 stamina with the other combination).

The last combination I could work with is Vengeful Gladiator's Silk Trousers and Vengeful Gladiator's Silk Cowl. Here I gain a whopping 72 stamina and 37 intellect, but at a cost of 54 hit rating (same as the Silk Trousers and Collar) and 3 damage. I do gain 37 intellect though, which helps augment some of the losses.

The other nice thing about any of the three combinations above is I am able to use the Chaotic Skyfire Diamond which does give me an extra 12 critical strike rating and, if I do crit, an extra 3% damage. And when I'm doing upwards of 4200 on crits, that's an extra 126 damage. With a critical strike chance of about 30% with raid buffs, that's an addition of 38 damage - period. So while the second and third combinations include a loss of 8 damage and 3 damage, respectively, the addition of the meta gem more than offsets those losses.

I think my preferred combination would be the second option. If I could get the Silk Trousers and the Collar, I would gain a lot of stamina and intellect, lose a lot of hit, but gain a little crit and about 30 damage. The best part of all is I would have a 100% chance to avoid interruption of fireball - which would be absolutely amazing as those stupid eagles swoop down on me. Perhaps the Curator will hear my pleas for him to drop the helm and I'll be the only one needing it. Unfortunately, even if I do get in the games needed in 2v2 and 5v5 tonight, I don't think I'll make it to the 1875 arena points needed to purchase the pants. I will have them in two weeks though. My only hope would be to get a 3v3 going quickly tonight and get a few extra points from there.

Either way, even if I do my best to research the fight, gear myself differently for extra stamina, and know when to move, I can only do so much. I'm not sure why we don't require the other raiders in the group to be similarly prepared. I know when the thunderstorm is going to come and can be ready for it. I know when I'm too close to other people so I don't get hit by chain lightning. I'm ready and have done my research. Hopefully we can take him down soon.
((For those that haven't yet, download BigWigs - you shouldn't be doing instances without it!))

Nov 24, 2007

Every time I enter an Alterac Valley battle, it seems that there's one loud-mouth who thinks he knows everything and tries to shout directions to everyone. They think that you can only win if you do things their way. Little do they realize, even if you get half of the people to listen to you, that's not enough. Everyone's going to do their own thing, thinking they can contribute in their own way. And it never fails, a tower is not capped, a graveyard is relinquished, and this so-called leader feels it necessary to berate everyone on their team.

I was just in a battle and this annoying warrior decided he was going to be the leader. He shouted at us when we didn't keep Stonehearth Graveyard, he yelled again when Tower Point was taken back by the horde, and he kept complaining all throughout the battle. A battle we won! Granted, I only earned about 450 honor, but it was a quick game, and we prevailed. Perhaps if we had listened to the annoying warrior we would have received twice as much honor, however, the match would have taken at least twice as long. Either way, I got to use my Stormpike Battle Standard on Galv and we prevailed.
((Wow, I am quite happy with these tooltips. I had been looking for a way to get tooltips without an SQL database and the only solutions I found didn't seem to work well with Firefox - my browser of choice. So while just surfing around Wowhead, I found this great link. A bit of CSS tweaking later and a quick javascript insert, and we're good to go. All I have to do is specify rare, epic, common, uncommon, and the links will generate whatever color I want and as long as I link to, the links are turned into tooltips. I wonder what happens with random links: Aldor Regalia, Paper Flying Machine, Old Crafty, Rocket Chicken, Quest: Headless Horseman.

So after testing, it doesn't work with item sets or quests - why would it? To clarify though - in the future, items will not be underlined (though they will link to Wowhead), regular links to other pages and/or content will be underlined))
Tonight, we ventured back into Zul'Aman and took down Nalorakk in one shot. Unfortunately, we were not able to do it in under twenty minutes to save the captives, as we had problem with a couple of bears with riders, but we are making good progress. Nalorakk once again dropped the Robes of Heavenly Purpose and they went to Amatsuterasu, our priest. Now, she has to figure out if the Primal Mooncloth Robe is going to go...

After Nalorakk, we headed over to Akil'zon. Before you get to him, you have to run a gauntlet as eagles constantly come down the mountain at you and guards constantly pin you in from behind while you have to keep moving forward and taking out mobs that are not crowd controllable. It took us a couple times to figure out how exactly to get through the gauntlet, but we did it and reached Akil'zon. We used our first look at him to figure out exactly how everything works during the encounter. The next time, we did much better, but still were learning the fight. The third time, we rushed up to beat the respawns, but didn't quite make it. After we failed the gauntlet on our way back up to Akil'zon, we called it for the night.

After Zul'Aman, I quickly went into Alterac Valley for a couple more runs and I maxed out my reputation gains with the Stormpike Guards and was rewarded with the Stormpike Insignia.
((I am testing a new item tooltip. Please let me know in game if you have any problems))

Nov 23, 2007

Tonight, the Gold Team ventures back into Zul'Aman. We plan on taking down both the Bear God and the Eagle God. From what I've heard, the Eagle God fight will be quite interesting with a lot of movement and coordination.

Most of my time today has been spent in Alterac Valley. This weekend, the Stormpike Guard are awarding extra honor for fighting against the horde. Also, the Alliance battlemaster tasked me with the quest to win an Alterac Valley game. Today has been mostly hit and hiss. Sometimes you'll get a great group which will win handily, other times, you'll be stuck with inept people who don't understand how to work as a group.

Either way, today has been very rewarding. Other than gaining almost 4,000 honor points, I also hit exalted with the Stormpike Guard! Time to update my count of exalted factions. I do believe I'm at 15 now.

Nov 22, 2007

Well I've certainly had a productive morning. After completing the daily cooking quest and being rewarded with a recipe for Kibler's Bits, I went to Skettis and completed the two daily quests there. I then took a free ride up to Blade's Edge and did the four quests there. After that, I returned to Shattrath and was in a most spectacular Warsong Gulch group. The three priests in our group knew exactly what they were doing and healed everyone, and one was even the flag carrier! We worked very well together as a team and quickly won 3-0. That was my daily battleground quest, so I decided to keep pushing my luck and flew over to Honor Hold. I picked up the daily quest there and recaptured the three towers. Our small group met resistance at one of the towers, and after I took out 2 of the five, I was quickly dispatched by the warlocks in the group. After resurrecting though, I made it back in time to complete the objective, giving me 9 out of 10 daily quests done.

Now, I'm not sure which other ones I can do. I think all that's left for me is the daily instance quests.

On an unrelated note, I recently let my Spellfire cloth making ability go unused. I have 16 Spellfire Cloth sitting in the bank and I am unable to sell them. I don't feel like going out and grinding primal fires and mana, so I think I'll just look for someone wishing to buy my services in the trade channel. If I have to spend 50g on primals to make the cloth, and then can't sell it, it's just a waste of money and there's nothing I can craft with it. My only other option at the current time is to try and trade Spellcloth for Primal Mooncloth. If I can get 8 of them, I could create a Primal Mooncloth Bag and add a couple of slots to my bags.

Nov 21, 2007

Last night, we almost ran a perfect Karazhan run. Not withstanding a few minor incidents, we cleared Karazhan in under five hours and were rewarded with 23 badges. We went our usual way, starting with Moroes, then Opera (Roumlo and Julianne), Curator, Aran, Netherspite, back to Illhoof (forgotten after Aran), then Prince, and Nightbane. We then cleaned up when we realized we had some time left and took down Attumen and The Maiden. We had a slight hiccup on Aran where someone moved (a lot) during a flame wreath (never figured out who), and then we had one quasi-wipe on Nightbane. After Aracely went down, he decided to chomp on me while the others ran for the door to reset him. A quick regroup later, we took him down and claimed our prizes.

To my surprise, the Prince actually dropped a "Fallen Hero" badge which was won by Comador. Both Nefernetcher and I did not need it, though both of us would take it for the Tier 4 bonus, and also just to complete the set. We we were both happy it went to Comador, as it was an upgrade for him even before socketing.

This weekend is Alterac Valley weekend, so I plan on spending a bunch of time in there in anticipation of the third arena season starting up next Tuesday. Of course, I also have to get my arena matches in and on Friday, we venture back into Zul'Aman.

Nov 20, 2007

Early this morning, I ventured over to the Alliance Quartermaster to see what wares I could possibly purchase. However, I had forgotten that the third season of the arena competitions had been pushed back a week. He did inform me that I had accumulated 8,064 honor points to spend, which is a good start to the 27,094 needed to upgrade my pendant and silk cuffs. With that in mind, I ventured over to the Arena Battlemaster and he informed me that last week, I had accumulated almost 500 arena points, bringing my total to 1,101. However, I'm undecided as to how I will use these points.

To buy the full Vengeful Gladiator's set, I need over 12,000 points which, at 500 points a week is over 24 weeks, or 6 months! So the first thing I need to do is prioritize the pieces that need upgrades. I love my Spellstrike set, but I think getting the Vengeful Gladiator's Silk Trousers and Vengeful Gladiator's Silk Cowl will be a very nice upgrade. The Silk Cowl provides 31 more stamina, 11 intellect, 8 crit, 1 damage, and 33 resilience at the cost of 24 hit. Since my hit rating is already so high for raiding, the loss makes no difference in PvP. The trousers supply me with 35 more stamina, 26 intellect, 7 crit, and 30 resilience at a cost of 30 hit, and 8 damage. Additionally, I receive a bonus of 35 extra resilience when sporting two of the Vengeful Gladiator's Set.

However, these two items will cost me 3,750 arena points. At 650 points a week (I'm hoping to join a 3v3 to gain a few extra points), it'll take me just over 4 weeks to reach the goal. Which, as I do the calculations is quite reasonable. The next three items - shoulders, chest, and hands will require an additional 4,304 arena points - or 7 more weeks of arena action. Alternatively, I could shoot for the awesome Vengeful Gladiator's War Staff which is absolutely amazing for both raiding and PvP. It offers just one more stamina, but 46 more crit, 62 more damage, and 29 resilience at the cost of just 5 intellect and 23 hit. However, not only does it require 3,750 arena points, it also requires a personal rating of 1,850. Though I have not yet acquired a personal rating, I might have to be picky as to which matches I play, and whom I play with. And I'm not really sure if I want to do that. I enjoy playing matches with Mercreus, even though we have a losing record. But if I have to keep a personal rating up (or even get it up in the first place), I may not be able to play those matches.


Nov 19, 2007

Well tonight certainly was interesting. We ventured back into Gruul's lair, but the mage that usually leads the charge was absent tonight, so it fell to me to tank Krosh. Luckily, when we were first preparing to enter Gruul's Lair, I had spent quite a few gold on a Krosh tanking set (lots of stamina). I had tried to tank him in the past, but our healers didn't know the encounter, and neither did I. Now that we are all used to it, I was able to successfully tank Krosh and we quickly downed Maulgar. It's really a different fight while tanking Krosh. You really don't see anything going around you. I just stood there, cast some scorches and stole his spell shield whenever it was up. I completely ignored everything else going on. It was pretty fun since if I died, there was a wipe. It's not often as the mage that you get that sort of responsibility.

After Gruul's Lair, we quickly headed over to Karazhan and downed Nightbane. A quick one shot later, I received two badges and was able to pick up my Carved Witch Doctor's Stick. I also received a Faint Arcane Essence which was required for a quest which rewarded me with an Infused Amethyst (+6 spell damage, +6 stamina). As it happened, the Witch Doctor's Stick had a blue socket and the Infused Amethyst fit in perfectly. I am quite happy with my new wand and now must grind some honor points over the next week or so.

Following up on the downing of Nightbane and clearing of Karazhan, we decided to push our luck and travel back to Zul'Aman. We learned much from our first excursion and quickly cleared back up to Nalorakk, the Bear God. Nalorakk is an ugly troll who, as the bear god, transforms periodically into a gigantic bear. He continually switches back and forth and has quite a bit of health. It's was a test of the whole group as we just needed to stay alive and work together. Eventually though, we took him down.
((Here's a shot of my UI in battle: Raid UI))
Well, yesterday, after actually winning an Eye of the Storm match for the brigadier general, I flew up to Netherstorm to collect Mana Berries and then ventured back to Winterspring. Just as I was about to be friendly with the Wintersaber trainer, he offered me another option to gain reputation with him - I think I mentioned it last time - but it significantly sped up my gains. I am now friendly with the Wintersabers and reached Honored with the Timbermaw - granting me a new enchanting and tailoring recipe.

Quite honestly, I'm not sure how I'm going to be able to survive these grinds. They are slow, repetitive, and boring. But hey, sometimes you just have nothing better to do - though grinding primals would make more sense fiscally.

Tonight I believe we will venture back into Gruul's lair. Hopefully he will drop a Badge of Justice. If they drop in Karazhan, why not there? I am just one badge short of my new wand - the Carved Witch Doctor's Stick - an upgrade of 5 stamina, 6 intellect, and 10 damage, at a loss of 11 hit. Should be worth it. I'll have to make up for hit in another slot though. Might go back and resocket my Spellfire to adhere to slot bonuses. Not quite sure yet though.

Nov 17, 2007

As some of you might know, I'm a completionist. I am trying my best to amass every enchanting recipe, every tailoring recipe, every cooking recipe, and lastly, become exalted with every faction. My exalted factions tally can be found over on the left there, and to that end, I did some more work today on it.

I took another quick journey out to Winterspring to see what was happening out there. I learned that the Wintersaber Trainer was awarding much more reputation per turn in of chillwind and sharptooth meat, so I did a few of those and then he started asking me to kill some Winterfall Shamans and Ursas. No problem I said! I need to kill a bunch of them to prove myself to the Timbermaw. When all was said and done, I gained about 2000 rep from the Timbermaw and 1500 from the Wintersaber Trainer.

I am now quite close to becoming Honored amongst the Timbermaw which will give me a new Enchant and a new Tailoring pattern. Speaking of them, the one lower level enchant I am looking for is Enchant Gloves: Herbalism. I have advanced herbalism, but would like this one to complete my enchants of skill 1-200 (I also need Enchant Shield: Lesser Block). While I have seen Lesser Block on the auction house, I haven't yet put down the cash needed to buy it. On the other hand, I have never seen the herbalism enchant on auction.

Next on my list is Enchant Gloves: Riding Skill. This world drop has been made somewhat obsolete by the Riding Crop, but I do believe there is still demand for it, and as such, I have not yet seen it on auction. There are quite a few level 300 enchanting recipes I may never see due to the fact that old world instances are not run, but if anyone would ever want to go to Ahn'Qiraj or Zul'Gurub, I would love to go!

As for tailoring recipes, I have not yet seen the Shadow Hood recipe on the auction and even though I have seen the Rich Purple Silk Shirt up there, it's an expensive and highly sought after item, so I have yet to purchase it. I am also looking for the Star Belt recipe and I am looking forward for the Lunar Festival to return. The last time the Lunar Festival occurred, I was just barely too young to purchase the Festive Red Dress and Festive Red Pant Suit patterns. The final pattern I am searching for is the Cloak of Fire. It drops from Overmaster Pyron (I should see if I can solo him). Other than those, there are the standard patterns that are level 300 and drop in the instances.

In future musings, I'll probably talk about those patterns past 300 I am searching for.

As for my reputations, the next exalted for me will probably be the Stormpike Guard (I do need to venture back into Alterac Valley as I hear it has changed). I am also close to being exalted with the Cenarion Expedition - just a few more Steamvaults runs and I should have it. Or I could run some Heroics...

My calculations put my total reputations gains throughout the world of Azeroth at just about 52%. So I'm over half way there to being exalted with everyone. Of course, it'll be tough to get the Hydraxian Waterlords and Zandalar Tribe to like me...

Nov 16, 2007

Tonight, after quickly cleaning up Attumen, we set off for the Ghostlands. Upon arriving there, I was greeted by a flight master who offered me an easier way to get there in the future (other than the summoning stone of course) and I saw before me a great structure. The temple in front of me was the great Zul'Aman! Before entering in with my group of faithful compatriots, I took a step back to admire this troll village. After surveying my surrioundings, I cautiously stepped up to the front door and stepped in.

To my surprise, I was not greeted by trolls, but rather, an eccentric fellow who offered to help us break the seal and truly enter into the temple. None other than Harrison Jones (not to be confused with Indiana Ford I guess). He told us that the only way to break the seal on the door was to gather ten people together and bang the gong at once. Of course, we happily obliged and the doors were slowly opened.

We were quickly greeted by some angry trolls which we dispatched with ease and we were then allowed to gaze down the steps of this magnificent temple which offers a fantastic view (even though the weather was a bit nasty). While the temple does look magnificent, you sometimes have to wonder how sturdy it really is (I have my doubts). After fighting through a few more trolls, we were rudely greeted by the bear lord Nalorakk. Apparently he didn't take too kindly to our presence there and he immediately sent his troll minions at us. We had no problems getting rid of them until we came upon his Amani'shi Warbringers. These two bear-mounted trolls gave us some problems, but we were able to figure them out and defeat them.

We were then standing face to face with Nalorakk. Unfortunately, my Super Snapper FX stopped working and I don't have any shots of the actual battle. The bear lord himself obviously transforms throughout the fight and does some big damage to both of our tanks. We were unable to defeat him in the three tries we were given, but did learn quite a bit about how to fight him and I am confident he will die the next time we face him. Taking him out within 20 minutes will prove to be a challenge, as we will do everything we can to save the prisoners he is holding, but again, it'll be quite difficult, but I think that once we can defeat him, 20 minutes is obtainable.

I look forward to our venture back into the temple. Hopefully we can get another shot at Nalorakk this within a day or two. Vengeance will be mine!
Tonight is the night! The Gold team ventures into Zul'Aman and we get to explore the temple and see what's going on in there. I have used all of my sources to try and learn everything I can about Zul'Aman. I have heard stories of the monsters that lie within, but without seeing them, I fear I am not adequately prepared. I am quite excited and look forward to peeking inside.

Also, there seems to be a new goblin that popped up inside Shattrath (or I just never paid him any attention before) and he has asked me to make some Roasted Clefthoof the past couple of days. It's easy enough, and for my troubles he gave me a few gold and even rewarded me with a recipe to make a Delicious Chocolate Cake. Kudos to him!

I was also tasked to win a Warsong Gulch battle, but unfortunately failed in my attempts on Wednesday night. I was unfortunately teamed up with people who decide that it's more fun to farm honor kills in the middle of the battleground rather than working together to capture the flag and prevent our flag from being captured. It's quite frustrating at times. Hopefully this weekend I can complete the quest I was tasked with.

Nov 14, 2007

Well, after some intensive note taking and ideating, I have come up with my wishlist for items from Zul'Aman, G'eras, and the battlegrounds.

My weapons both hopefully will be upgraded. The Amani Divining Staff and Carved Witch Doctor's Stick will net me an increase of 8 stamina, 2 intellect, 31 critical strike, and 61 damage at the cost of just 26 hit rating.

The next things I am considering replacing is the Spellstrike Set. The Hood of Hexxing is the main piece of the set with considerable stats and nice sockets. With that, the Pantaloons of Arcane Annihilation are available for 75 badges. The stats change with increases of stamina by 18, intellect by 48, haste by 45, and damage by 15. These upgrades come at a cost of hit rating decrease of 15, crit rating decrease of 30. I'd have to run the numbers to figure out if the intellect increase balances out the crit rating decrease, but the hit rating loss of 15 is miniscule in the grand scheme of things and can be made up elsewhere (different socketing or something similar). This upgrade would only come if the Hood drops.

With battleground honor, I would like to upgrade both of my Veteran's pieces to the Vindicator equivalents. The Pendant is a significant upgrade with an extra 4 stamina, 3 intellect, 3 crit, and 4 damage. The silk cuffs are about the same upgrade with an extra 4 stamina, 4 intellect, 3 crit and 5 damage (or an extra three stat points). However, as mentioned previously, the enchant on the silk cuffs was quite expensive and I might not replace it. However, if I do switch from Spellstrike to something else, I will lose hit and the +15 hit to bracers is cheap. I would lose the +15 damage enchant, but could easily get back to max hit that way.

And last, but not least are the Footpads of Madness. They are a significant upgrade with an additional 4 intellect, 19 damage, and 25 haste. At the cost of just 14 stamina and 3 hit rating. A huge gain at a minor cost. The other option are the Boots of Blasting - a recipe that drops in Black Temple. I have yet to see this recipe on the auction house, but figure it would go for about 2000g, a hefty price to pay for one pair of boots that will be obsolete in short time. I'd much rather put that 2000g towards my epic flying mount.

Speaking of the mount, I have taken considerable steps backwards in my purchase of this nice amenity. I lent out some gold which is not a big deal, but I have spent quite a bit of money on some items including my new runed enchanting rod. Also, I haven't been doing my dailies as much as I should, though the new daily quests should be nice.
It's been a while since I have written anything down, but there's been some big news. On Monday, we quickly downed Maulgar and he dropped the Brute Cloak of the Ogre Magi. It is quite a nice upgrade for me and even though I haven't had a chance to put the subtlety enchant on it, I have noticed an increase in damage done to enemies. The cloak, combined with the pauldrons I received the week prior have enabled me to put out upwards of 4400 damage on a fireball crit with raid buffs.

Yesterday, there were many changes afoot in the world of Azeroth. Word is G'eras has new rewards in exchange for Badges of Justice and we heard they were dropping in record numbers inside Karazhan. We ventured back to Karazhan last night and had our best night ever downing Moroes, Maiden, Opera, Illhoof, Aran, Netherspite, Cuator, Aran (all in one shot except for Prince - bad elemental drops). We then tried tried to down Nightbane, but it was getting late and we were unable to do it in two attempts.

Like I said though, I've been getting pretty good damage with the gear I currently have and put out upwards of 4.75 million damage over the course of the raid. However, with the start of Arena Season 3 next week, and the new badge rewards, I have some upgrades planned. Also, there is talk of a new threat from the trolls out in the Ghostlands. I do believe that heading out that way to seek new adventures will reward us nicely as a team.

Word from early excursions to the temple of Zul'Aman report a beautiful new Staff in exchange for freeing prisoners within a short time frame along with a new Hood of Hexxing which would be a nice upgrade. G'eras is also selling some new pants to go with that hood which would be able to decrease my casting time by almost 3%. He also is offering a new wand which I should be able to pick up soon, as we earned almost 20 badges last night alone (the Carved Witch Doctor's Stick is being offered for the low, low price of just 25 badges). Other than that, I shall need to find my way back into the battlegrounds to upgrade my pendant and bracers. The new Vindicator's Pendant of Conquest and Vindicator's Silk Cuffs are very nice upgrades. However, my current cuffs have an expensive enchant on them which I am hesitant to replace. I would need to spend almost 500g to re-enchant the cuffs and I would only gain 4 stamina, 4 intellect, 3 crit and 5 damage. Nice increases, but I wonder if it is worth the cost of enchanting and the cost of honor. To be certain, the pendant upgrade is the first I will seek out.

It is nice now that they will be awarding extra honor each day for completing battleground tasks which I look forward to trying out tonight. I also hear that some in the Lower City are offering rewards for certain foods which I most certainly could cook up for them with my maximum cooking skills.

With all of those upgrades talked about above, a few things I know for certain - my Spellfire set (gloves, robe, belt) will not be changing. Nor will my new pauldrons. My cloak should stay the same well into Zul'Aman and my trinkets and rings should remain.

The one thing I am still actively searching for is a nice pair of boots. The Maiden refused to drop them last night, and I still don't want to grind Eye of the Storm (plus, I need 10 Eye of the Storm marks for the new pendant). Sooner or later the Maiden should drop my boots - but if she doesn't, I heard of a nice pair of boots that Jan'Alai might drop in Zul'Aman. I won't be holding my breath though.

Nov 7, 2007

Oh yeah, a couple of things I forgot to mention. Last night I rocked Karazhan wearing my Sporeggar Tabard. That thing is quite possibly the ugliest piece of clothing in the world, but it's now my lucky Kara tabard. It all started to work for us when the pattern for a Soulcloth Vest dropped early (congrats to Nefernetcher), but continued when we downed Moroes and he finally dropped the formula for Enchant Weapon: Mongoose.

It'll be great to finally help out the raid with a rare, high-level enchant. Now, I'd just like to see Sunfire and Soulfrost drop off of Illhoof and Aran...

However, this now forces me to finish work on my Runed Eternium Rod. I've collected the Eternium Rod, the Void Crystals, and most of the Planar Essences, but the Primal Mights are once again giving me problems. It's tough to spend 100g on each of them. I've bought one, and will buy the other three when I see a deal on them, but it's just tough to drop that kind of cash when I'm saving up for my epic flying skill (just about half way there).
Last night was pretty amazing. The Gold team completely rocked Karazhan. We started in our usual manner going through Moroes and Opera (though the Opera was odd as we got Romulo and Juliane, but after a fluke death to a tank, we reset it and got the Big Bad Wolf who we one shot). We then continued quickly through the Curator (where Harkor received his second pair of tier four gloves), Shade of Aran, the Chess Event, and then Prince Malchezzar. Like the Curator, the Prince withheld tier four pieces from us mages, warlocks, and hunters.

After the Prince, we were given a choice - back to quickly finish off Attumen and the Maiden of Virtue, or on to Netherspite. Netherspite just barely won out with a vote of 6-4 (I have a feeling it was the healers and me that voted for the Maiden - I'm looking for boots, they're looking for a healing mace). But after one failed attempt at Netherspite due to a new strategy we were employing, we got him the second time through.

Oddly, Netherspite dropped two caster items. The Uni-Mind Headdress which Nefernetcher took for raiding instead of the PvP helm he was currently utilizing, and the Jewel of Infinite Possibilities. Though I hadn't thought about switching away from my Staff of Infinite Mysteries, I was persuaded to take the Jewel in case the Prince ever dropped the Nathrezim Mindblade again (Legionaire got the first one we saw - well deserved).

Running the numbers of the Jewel + Mindblade vs. the Staff, it's a pretty close call, but I think dual-wielding would be the right move. I would lose 24 stamina, 15 intellect, and 2 hit rating, but gain 23 crit, and 41 damage. Since I'm already at or near the hit cap, the loss of 2 hit rating wouldn't bother me much, but the gain of 23 crit and 41 damage would be a very nice upgrade. However, it always hurts to lose stamina as I am already fragile enough.

One thing I would like to do in anticipation of a tier four helm ever dropping off Prince Malchezzar is to complete my Nightbane questline. I need to venture into Sethekk Halls and Shattered Halls in heroic mode and kill the first boss there, then use the Blackened Urn to summon Nightbane. If I'm lucky, I can get these two runs in before Friday when we will kill Nightbane again. Then, I'll be able to get an Infused Amethyst which will give me +6 damage and +6 stamina - and which will fit perfectly in the blue socket on the Collar of the Aldor.

Once again, last night, I was reminded of my folly as we passed by what is now termed "Tiddly's Door" on the way up to Prince Malchezzar. A few weeks ago as we were ascending to kill the Prince, I decided to turn the wrong way and peek inside a door we had not yet opened. Unfortunately, there were a few guys inside that didn't take kindly to me peeking in and they instantly killed me. Luckily, Aracely and Vetarra were ready to seek revenge and promptly killed them with the help of the raid and I was avenged, but now every time we go up, I'm once again reminded of my curiosity. Perhaps later this week I'll be allowed to explore the kitchen of Karazhan. We have not yet ventured in there and should have some free time after we quickly clear the place.

Nov 6, 2007

Well, I finally found my pictures, and here I am in my new Pauldrons of the Aldor. I also added a new picture to the masthead, a shot of us all before taking on Gruul the Dragonkiller.

((Here's a shot of my Raid UI))
So, as any reader of this journal would know, I've been working on saving arena points to buy a nice pair of shoulders since I have been unable to find anything to replace my current set. The only options out there were the arena shoulders and the tier four shoulders. Last night, we ran our regular Gruul's Lair run and with skill and tenacity, downed the High King Maulgar in just one shot. And lo and behold, he dropped the "Fallen Hero" shoulders! Rejoice! I have a chance to win the shoulders I had coveted for months.

And with a roll of 68 on the lucky dice, they were mine, just barely beating out a roll of 62 and a few others under 50. Yes, the Pauldrons of the Aldor are finally mine! I rushed to Shattrath, quickly bought a Greater Inscription of the Orb (+15 spell crit, +12 spell damage), threw a Fluorescent Tanzanite in the red socket (+6 spell damage, +4 spirit) and a Potent Noble Topaz (+5 spell damage, +4 spell crit) in the yellow socket and I was ready to go back to the lair to face off against Gruul himself.

Unfortunately, we're still having problems with shatters and DPS. I actually died once this time from a shatter (my first shatter death in all of our attempts) as I was next to two people, one who shattered for 2400 which I could absorb, but the other who shattered for 6700, which combined with the 2400 I could not absorb. However, we did get him down to 47% or so, which is our best effort yet, however, we didn't improve by that much over previous attempts. But it does take practice and a little bit of luck, so hopefully we will be able to get him down soon.

I did take some pictures of myself with the shoulders on and I also took a picture of the whole group just as we were about to face off against Gruul, but they have gone missing. Hopefully I will be able to figure out which Imbued Netherweave Bag I put them into and show them off later tonight.

And here they are, the combined stats on my new Pauldrons of the Aldor:
152 Armor
+25 Stamina
+26 Intellect
+20 Spirit
+34 Spell Crit
+54 Spell Damage

One more of the Aldor Regalia and I'll also have a 100% chance to not be interrupted while casting my fireball, which will be quite nice for fights where I am hit by arcane spam or something similar. Not sure what slot I could put another of the Aldor Regalia in though. Probably the Collar of the Aldor to replace my Spellstrike Infusion set. The added bonus of +92 damage for 10 seconds from Spellstrike is a pretty nice effect and I might not be willing to give it up. We'll just have to wait and see what the Prince drops (maybe tonight). Perhaps I'll try and figure out later today how the Collar could help my output. That Meta Socket is quit nice...

Nov 5, 2007

Another lazy weekend. With not much to do, I decided to venture back to Winterspring and gather Winterfall Spirit Beads. After making a couple quick loops of Winterfall Village, I set out to gather some Chillwind and Sharptooth meat in anticipation of further reputation gains from the Wintersaber trainers. With the meat stored away, I went back to Winterfall, gathered some more spirit beads and turned them in. It made a small dent in my reputation with the Timbermaw and I have quite a ways to go before they fully trust me.

The following day, I decided to see what the Argent Dawn were up to and went and shut down some cauldrons and turned in some scourgestones. Same as the Timbermaw, I have a ways to go before becoming exalted.

Late yesterday though, I got the chance to accompany Jaides on her epic warlock mount quest in Dire Maul. The fight was something I had not yet seen and it was fun to help her obtain the mount after a fair bit of fighting (not quite sure how that fight could be accomplished 10 seasons earlier). And with that, I called it a night.

The new week brings the same challenges with Maulgar and Gruul tonight and Karazhan on Tuesday and Friday. Maybe I'll see one of those fabled "Fallen Hero" drops this week.

Nov 3, 2007

Last night, the intrepid members of the DarkLight Resolution Karazhan "Gold" Team ventured in to clean up the trash we left on Tuesday night. It was easy to breeze through Attumen and The Maiden (who once again withheld the Shard of the Virtuous and the Boots of Foretelling) and continued on to Terestian Illhoof. Unfortunately, other responsibilities called me away and I missed the killing of Illhoof.

After Illhoof though, we continued on to Nightbane. He has given us troubles in recent weeks and our goal was to down him last night. Well, we did better than expected and took him down after just two attempts. After taking down Nightbane, just one foe was left within the walls, Netherspite.

Netherspite isn't your standard banished dragon which you can just run up to and start fighting. He opens three portals around him which emit rays which must be blocked before they can reach him and energize him.

So after just two tries learning the fight, Netherspite went down on the third try! With this downing, we have successfully cleared Karazhan and now will continue to attempt to down Gruul on Mondays. We also await the opening of Zul'Aman which will provide further challenges for our 10-man Gold team.

And yes, Netherspite is quite large when a small gnome stands in front of him. Following our clearing of Karazhan, I quickly took a trip to the Grim Guzzler in Black Rock Depths and turned in some Blood of the Mountains I had acquired which took my reputation to exalted with the Thorium Brotherhood "thieves." They are now the 14th cartel I am exalted with and I am quite close to becoming exalted with the Cenarion Expedition and Stormpike Guard.

Oct 31, 2007

Last night was one of our most successful Karazhan runs to date. After I arrived right at the start time, we quickly cleared through Moroes and the Opera where the Crone dropped the Wicked Witch's Hat. No one could use it, so I took it just for fun. It, combined with my swift magic broom makes it fun to ride around cities while cackling.

After the Opera, we quickly went and cleared Curator and then continued on to Aran whom we also one shotted. It wasn't too long ago when Aran was almost impossible to kill, but now we've got him down and can easily kill him in one shot barring any unlucky moves (we even survived two flame wreath explosions last week).

After Aran, we had the choice, continue through the chess event to the Prince or go back and kill The Maiden and Attumen. While I would have liked to go back to the Maiden and see if my Boots of Foretelling would drop, the team voted for the Prince. We had an extremely unlucky infernal drop the first time through, but killed him on just the third attempt - our best effort yet. After killing the Prince, we called it for the night, just 15 minutes past our scheduled end time. A great first night for the Gold team.

But, once again, both the Curator and the Prince failed to drop a tier four piece that had "mage" on it. Which also is locking out all hunters and warlocks. Soon enough though...soon enough.

However, after returning to Shattrath, I saw a request in the trade channel for Enchant Gloves: Major Healing, so I told him I could do that for him, and lo and behold, I am now a 375 enchanter! Now, to just raise my cooking a few more points. Then, maybe I'll get off my lazy ass and get my fishing skills up.

Oct 30, 2007

Last night after two-shotting High King Maulgar, we continued on to Gruul himself and got him down to 50% two times in a row. However, we are still having problems with shatters, but we are learning the fight and doing better every time we see him. I think we should be able to down him soon enough.

Tonight, the Karazhan gold team once again ventures into Karazhan. Hopefully we can beat last week's effort where we one shot everything except the Curator. And on the Curator fight we just got unlucky. All I know is that that damn Maiden is still holding onto my shoes and I'm going to get them sooner or later. And hopefully the Curator will see how High King Maulgar dropped a "mage" tier four item and will reciprocate with a "mage" item himself.

Oct 29, 2007

Tonight, the amazing group of 25 downed High King Maulgar in record time. We had a slight miscue on our first attempt, but quickly got him the second time around. And, lo and behold, though I didn't think it would ever happen, a "mage" piece dropped - the Pauldrons of the Fallen Hero.

Unfortunately, I did not win the pauldrons this time around, but congratulations to Twinklebee, our fellow warlock who now has her first piece of tier four. We are on Gruul now. Hopefully we can kill him and I can get another shot at a tier four piece.
This weekend was pretty boring for me. Friday night, the DarkLight Resolution "Gold" team defeated Prince Malchezzar and Terestian Illhoof and attempted Nightbane a few more times. We got Nightbane to phase two a couple of times and almost to phase three. With a little more practice, we'll get him down.

Continuing with my horrible luck, the helm that dropped from the Prince once again had no "mage" option on it. Not that I could even use a new helm, but I'd just like to see one tier four token drop that is usable by a mage. That's all I want - to see it. Not win it. Not even roll on it if I can't use it immediately - just to see it.

Saturday and Sunday I did my dailies and then helped a young hunter train her way up. As I am currently saving for an epic flying mount, I have decided to help a young Dranei hunter with mining and skinning level up and make money that way. Plus, leveling hunters is both fun and easy.

One bright spot for the weekend was battling in the arenas with Nefernetcher. Our rating had dropped a bit, but after Nef and I were done, we were back to .500 for the week. I think we went 12-2 before calling it a night. We faced some pretty weak teams and got unlucky during one of our losses, but the last loss of the night was against a good rogue/druid team. Those druids are especially hard if they know what they're doing in arenas.

Tonight we should venture into Gruul's lair providing the tanks show up - they got a much deserved week off last week. High King Maulgar usually drops two tier four shoulder pieces (one of the few slots I actually need an upgrade at), so maybe tonight I'll see my first "mage" tier four piece. And if I'm really lucky, I'll win it. That'll just leave my boots for upgrade and I'm crossing my fingers hoping the Maiden will drop them tomorrow.

Oct 25, 2007

Last night I finally earned the everlasting respect of the precious critters known as the Sporeggar. After killing 24 more nagas for them, I gave them the ten fertile spores I had collected and became exalted. After becoming exalted, Fhwoor requested that I help him recover the Ark of Ssslith from the naga and return it to Sporeggar. Since Fhwoor told me that the quest would be long and arduous, I enlisted the help of fellow guildmate Breakar. While waiting for Breakar to arrive, I cooked up some blackened basilisk and some sporeling snacks (aside from food and water, I enjoy providing hunters in my group with snacks as they can often keep me out of precarious situations).

Once Breakar arrived, we escorted Fhwoor to the naga encampment without any problems, but on our way back, Ssslith tried to stop us from making it back to Sporeggar. We defeated him again without problem, and once we arrived back at Sporeggar, I had earned the respect of all the Sporeggar. Soon, I will be able to use my Glowcaps to purchase a friendly sporebat pet to show my dedication to the Sporeggar. I would wear the Sporeggar tabard, however, it is quite ugly and clashes with my outfit. Until I get new clothing that might match the tabard, I will be sticking with my guild tabard or the beautiful red Kurenai tabard they rewarded me with besides the graceful Talbuk I have been riding around on.

Oct 24, 2007

Last night, as part of the Karazhan Gold Team we once again rolled through Kara. We started by clearing straight past Moroes to the Opera, only to be rudely told we couldn't do the opera without first killing Moroes. We quickly went back, killed him the first time through and then one-shot the Crone all within 15 minutes because there wasn't any trash to clear on our way up.

After taking out the Crone, we continued on to the Curator who decided we would have to take two tries at him due to some bad luck, so we took him down on the second try, and again, no Tier 4 piece for a mage dropped. Now, I don't even need the Tier 4 gloves, but I'd just like to see them. I'd just like to see the Gloves of the Fallen Hero drop once. Or maybe the Helm of the Fallen Hero from Prince Malchezaar. But what I'd really like to see are the Pauldrons of the Fallen Hero from High King Maulgar, but no dice. I've seen probably ten or so Tier 4 tokens drop, and not one of them has said "mage."

So after the Curator didn't drop a mage set piece, we continued on, one-shot Aran, and then went back to clear the trash. We mopped up the Maiden (who once again decided I was not going to get to upgrade my shoes), and then destroyed Attumen. Another successful trip into Karazhan. On Friday, Prince Malchezaar falls again, along with Terestian Illhoof.

Speaking of the Maiden not dropping my boots, the Crone last night dropped the Ruby Slippers. Now, I've been waiting for the Boots of Foretelling from the Maiden for a long time, but looking at the slippers, I'm not quite sure which are better - though I would assume the boots since that's what all my research has told me.

Ruby Slippers
134 Armor
+33 Stamina
+29 Intellect
Durability 50 / 50
Requires Level 70
Equip: Improves spell hit rating by 16.
Equip: Increases damage and healing done by magical spells and effects by up to 35.

Boots of Foretelling
134 Armor
+27 Stamina
+23 Intellect
Red Socket
Yellow Socket
Socket Bonus: +3 Intellect
Durability 50 / 50
Requires Level 70
Equip: Improves spell critical strike rating by 19.
Equip: Increases damage and healing done by magical spells and effects by up to 26.

So here we have the slippers with more stamina and intellect, yet no sockets. They also have spell hit instead of spell crit and 9 more damage. But with the red and yellow sockets, you can put in a Runed Living Ruby for 9 damage and then a Great Dawnstone for 8 spell hit. However, if you're at the hit cap like I am, the spell hit on the slippers is somewhat useless. But at the same time, if I get spell hit there, I can replace gems that provided spell hit on other items with gems that provide damage or spell crit. My current boots don't have any spell hit on them, so the boots are a more logical upgrade, but the slippers would have been a nice stop-gap upgrade until the boots drop (I did win the roll, but passed them to a healer in our raid who needed the upgrade more than I).

So I guess while I thought initially the boots and slippers might be pretty close in usefulness, upon further examination, the boots are clearly the correct way to go. My current boots:

107 Armor
+24 Stamina
+18 Intellect
Red Socket (ghetto +7 damage)
Yellow Socket (ghetto +3 crit, +4 damage)
Socket Bonus: +3 Intellect
Durability: 40 / 40
Requires Level 70
Equip: Improves spell critical strike rating by 17
Equip: Increases damage and healing done by magical spells and effects by up to 20.

24 STA, 21 INT, 20 CRIT, 31 DMG (Sigil-Laced Bots)
33 STA, 29 INT, 16 HIT, 35 DMG (Ruby Slippers)
27 STA, 26 INT, 27 CRIT, 35 DMG (Boots of Foretelling)

When presented like that, still a pretty close call and I could have gotten by for a long time with the Ruby Slippers I think. They also function as a hearthstone, freeing up a slot in my bags (I almost never use my hearthstone anyways). It's set to Gadgetzan so I can hearth or port to any corner of both continents. But like I said, passed on the slippers. Hopefully the boots will drop soon.