Wednesday 30 September 2009

Our Housekeeping

I hope it goes without saying that after you have killed the enemy, their mangled corpses should be subjected to the indignity of a strip-search while their blood still gushes hotly, and that you should loot everything you can carry.

What have you been doing with all that linen and woollen cloth that you've found on them? Chances are, you've been selling them to a vendor. Well, stop that, right now! There are at least two things you can do with them that are better than that.

Firstly, various professions can use these scraps of cloth. For instance, if you are a tailor, you already know that they can be turned into the most beautiful costumes; if you have the first aid profession, you can turn them into bandages.

Secondly, if you don't have a use for the cloth, sell it to an adventurer who does. Your fellow adventurers pay a lot more than vendors for it. But how do you sell it to somebody else? The Auction House is how. Go to the auction house, select an auctioneer, and search for the cloth you want to sell. You'll find loads of it, at various prices. Decide on the price you want to sell your cloth for (make sure the price you set is above the price a vendor would give you for it), and post it! If you select a low enough price, you'll find it will sell easily, and often within a few minutes. You'll get paid by a letter in your mailbox an hour after the sale.

And it's not just cloth that sells well. Every green item that you loot and that you can't use youself can be sold in the auction house. The secret here is that people will usually buy these item not to wear, but to disenchant into various magical powders, crystals, essences and so on, needed by enchanters. This gives even the lamest green item a value much higher than the vendor puts on it.

As well as green items, many white items also sell well at auction: consumables (like cloth) that are used in other professions or for quests. For instance those small eggs that you get from the birds in Westfall are worth quite a bit to chefs.

Also, while you're at the auction house, don't forget to buy some bags. You can get some from vendors. You can get bigger bags from tailors who sell their wares at the Auction House. Obviously, the bigger your bags, the more loot you can carry.

I don't want to turn this into a guide to using the auction house here; that's been done very well already in loads of places, including Just My Two Copper ( I just want to draw your attention to its importance. Don't be poor. Sell your loot in the Auction House. At the very least, the AH is a great way to turn your unwanted loot into gold. The trading game can also be fun in its own right; I love trawling though the auctions looking for bargains that I can resell for profit later.

By the way, if you want to get the most out of the Auction House, you'll really want to get the AuctioneerAddon. This improves your pricing by tracking historical prices and letting you see when items are cheap or overpriced. If you never get any other World of Warcraft addon, get this one. And check out Marcko's guide to using it:

Wednesday 2 September 2009


The first time I went into the Deadmines instance, my first instance, it was awesome. My group and I were really challenged by the enemies we met there, and we felt we were heroes when we completed it and got out the other end with Edwin van Cleef's head. That was a real achievement. I was just 19. Level 19.

Some days later, I was duelling in Goldshire, when a level 50 player asked me and my protagonist to accompany her. She brought us to Westfall, to Moonbrook, and I realised we were going to go into the Deadmines. Just the three of us. At first, we had a hard time, since the mobs targetted me and my protagonist. We hadn't yet learned what a tank was, and so we didn't know to let the tank take the aggro first before we started attacking. Moreover, being lower level than our leader, our aggro radius was greater, and so as we travelled alongside our level 50 leader, mobs started attacking us. This made things tricky for the level 50. Eventually she suggested we hang back and let her get stuck into the mobs and really get their attention before we started attacking. This made for faster progress, but left me and my protagonist with little to do; by the time the level 50 hit the mobs twice, they were dead. We sort of became passengers. There was nothing heroic about it. Luckily, I'd already got my achievement.

The first time I went into the Stockades, when I was 24, it was in the company of a level 24 hunter who had invited a level 80 death knight along. It was a complete waste of time. The death knight went through the stockade like a hot knife through butter, and the hunter and I were reduced from fighters to cleaners. All we did was sweep up after the death knight. I take no pride in the Stockades "achievement". A failchievement, really! I can never get it properly now. I've never been back.

"Looking for boost in Stockades" is a common cry on the trade channel. Some low-level character is asking for a high-level character to accompany him to the Stockades and essentially get the achievement for him. There are several reasons why one might want to do this, but let me assure you, you never want to be boosted in a dungeon if you've not yet completed the dungeon for yourself. If you get a high-level character to do it for you (obviously with you in their company), you'll never be able to feel the pride of achieving something for yourself. Moreover, you've paid Blizzard for this content. Why would you additionally pay some level 80 character so that you can skip it and pretend you've done it? For that's what boosting means, even if the lower level character fires off a few spells, or swings his sword a bit as well.

There are legitimate reasons why you might want to be boosted:

  • you've already met the challenge and done the dungeon with a level-appropriate group and completed the achievement, and now you just want to "farm" it for some particular piece of loot that you didn't get the first time round.
  • you've completed the content in other alternative lives, and now you're just speed-levelling past content you already know well, in order to reach the end-game.
  • you are a coward and are not fit to be honored by the heroes of Stormwind, but you want to hide your cowardice by appearing to have achieved a brave act.
  • you are lazy and cannot be bothered doing your part for the alliance, but you want to hide your laziness by appearing to have achieved something for the alliance
  • you are a show-off who wants people to admire you, but you're actually too lazy or too cowardly to actually achieve something admirable.
If you're a newbie like me, who loves killing the horde, I doubt you belong in any of these categories. Don't accept boosts. You'll regret it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.

Why would somebody offer boosts? Perhaps because a friend or guildmate has asked you to, and you want to help them (actually, I don't believe you are helping them if they are newbies like me). Perhaps because you're a show-off who would like a low-level character to think how great you are (possibly because you can't show off with your peers because you aren't their equal). Anyway, friends or guildmates won't be asking you for a boost over trade chat, so I assume if you're asking for or offering boosts in trade chat, that you belong to one of the "slacker" categories. As a matter of fact, I keep a note of people I see offering or soliciting boosts. I want to avoid grouping with either of them.