Friday, August 24, 2012

My Stable and their Plans Leading up to Mists

Hey there, gold fans!  I know things have been quiet from me in this exciting period of build-up to Mists of Pandaria, but I'm also a full-time student, which means real life has to intrude sometimes.  For many, the summer would be a quieter time, but for me, that means trying to get ahead with summer classes, and 90% of what my school offers during the summer is online.  Surprisingly, cramming 300-level accounting and finance classes into six weeks and removing the benefits of an actual classroom environment does not make them easier or more fun.  Who'd have guessed?

Anyway, most of my time in-game lately has been spent leveling and otherwise preparing my stable of alts for Mists.  Leveling has taken the majority of the time, but some profession work has been necessary as well, especially with my planned professions shifting radically.

One thing I would like to note about my professions is that I'm not planning on going in with a dual gatherer, nor will I have a gathering profession at all on my main. This was a tough decision for me, particularly since I saw the Consortium post about dual gathering and agreed with most of the points.  In a perfect world, I could make any toon I'm planning to level at launch a dual gatherer, then use the gold from inflated mat prices to power-level whatever professions I'd prefer to have.

In that perfect world, though, I'd have plenty of time, and that's just not the case, particularly with the launch of Mists.  There's going to be so much to fill the time as it is:  leveling, maxing the professions I actually want on those toons, getting ready for raiding, and of course RL stuff like school work.  Leveling another profession from scratch, even power-leveling it with mats bought from the AH, just takes time I won't have after launch.

So, with that said, I've been getting my team ready for Mists, their levels maxed and their professions where they need to be.  Today, I'm going to present them and my plans for them in their entirety. This includes names. I'm not on a particularly large server, and I'm fairly sure my competition has already figured most of these out, so no loss there.  And on the up side, it means I can spend a little less time redacting screenshots.

So, let's get to the introductions:

Tailswish, level 85 Tauren Druid

A Pimp Druid Named Tailswish
We all know this one already, my druid, my main, my banker, my baby.  Right now, she's got Herbalism and Mining, more for coincidence than anything else.  Herbalism makes sense, since Tauren Druids are by far the most efficient herbalists.  Mining just sort of came about because I was without one for a while and needed to make some ore into bars for my blacksmith.

I'm also main tank for my 10-man raid team, so I need to have good bonuses.  Unfortunately, that means switching my professions around for Mists.  Blacksmithing will have by far the best bonus for Guardians, because of the increased item budget for secondary stats on gems come Mists.  Thankfully, alchemy is up there, too, since the Guardian mastery's armor increase is calculated after the armor elixir and Mixology.  Everyone's planned to have Alchemy as one of their professions, since with a planned 10 max-level toons, there are few other options for profession stacking.

The other main option for stacking would be Inscription, for more Scroll of Wisdom and therefore more Darkmoon Cards.  I will indeed be keeping a close eye on that and shuffling some professions around as necessary, but for now I prefer Alchemy and its Living Steel cooldown.  A recent post from Faid lets us know that the new belt buckles will be gated behind reputation and take Living Steel.  An unexpected but welcome bonus for my Blacksmith main and her small army of Alchemists.

I will, however, leave redoing the druid's professions as one of the last priorities on my pre-Mists list.  If I get everything else done, I'll go for it, as time before the launch is more valuable than time after it.  If I don't end up having time, it's still all gravy because at least I'd have a dual gatherer for launch.

Zelphair, level 85 Blood Elf Mage

Equal opportunity eye candy. I'd love to find a Barbaric Loincloth, rather than aboriginal, to pull the color scheme together.

Ah, my Mage.  I haven't played him seriously in quite some time, but I'm very fond of him.  He was the first toon I had ever gotten to max level, and my main for quite some time.  His current professions are Tailoring and Alchemy, but sometime before Mists, he'll be giving up his Tailoring for Enchanting.  We'll see why a bit further in.

Dunkelheit, level 85 Blood Elf Warlock

Don't let the transmog fool you.  In some cultures, white symbolizes death.
My warlock actually used to be a male Forsaken.  Looking pretty good, all things considered, eh?  Back when she was a he, Dunkelheit was actually the first toon I made in WoW.  Her professions are pretty much set with Jewelcrafting and Alchemy, although her Alchemy needs a few points before Mists.

Shieldwench, level 85 Blood Elf Warrior

I'm not sure that can legally be called Plate anymore...
Shieldwench was the first of my stable to be created and leveled exclusively in Cataclysm.  Despite her late entry, she's been a solid money maker for me with Blacksmithing and, to a lesser extent, Engineering.  When Tailswish takes over her Blacksmithing duties, she'll replace it with Alchemy, of course.

Naturalwoman, level 85 Orc Shaman

Whoever said Orc women weren't sexy has obviously never met Naturalwoman
I knew I'd roll an Orc eventually.  They may not always be as pretty as Blood Elves, but at least they're not Trolls.  This shaman is currently rocking Skinning and Leatherworking.  Of the two, Skinning is the one that'll be moving on to someone else, mostly because Leatherworking is the bigger pain to re-level, but also partly because I've got the pattern for some very Stylin' hats.  Come Mists, she'll have Leatherworking and Alchemy.

Rosalyngrace, level 85 Blood Elf Rogue

They say the less you wear, the harder you are to detect.
This little lady's a relatively new addition to the gang, but she's been working hard.  Right now, she's got Enchanting and Inscription, so between heirloom enchants and glyph/ink stockpiling, she's definitely been logging the hours.  Thankfully, most of the heirloom enchants are relatively easy to unlock (and I have an extra Crusader recipe no one's buying), so she'll pass on her Enchanting duties and settle into Inscription and Alchemy.

Piercingeyes, level 84 Blood Elf Hunter

This outfit just screams "Blood Elf".  In a good way.
This is the latest toon to be fully leveled.  Yes, she's only 84, but I'm waiting to see if the XP changes from 84 to 85 go live in 5.0.4 before I slog that out.  She's currently got Herbalism and Mining, mostly for the sake of quicker leveling, but also so that if I run short on time and can't finish my profession changes, I'll at least have a dual gatherer for launch.  If things go as planned, though, she'll pass her Mining on, and settle at Herbalism and Alchemy.

Anklegnaw, level 71 Goblin Death Knight

What?  It's leveling gear.  Not everything needs to be transmogged.
This little gal has been surprisingly busy.  In addition to leveling, she's the Guild Master of my personal bank guild, Something Awesome.  She's also been responsible for storing and selling the glyph stockpile crafted by Rosalyngrace.  She's currently got Herbalism and Mining, but that's purely for leveling.

I ran into a bit of a problem when selecting professions for her.  Alchemy would be one, of course, but all the others still "up for grabs" had been those that benefited from Bountiful Bags.  Since Something Awesome is still level 1, she doesn't have access to this, and thus needs a crafting profession.  In the end, I decided the easiest thing to do was give her Zelphair's Tailoring and have the mage take over Enchanting.  At least Tailoring should be easy, if not cheap, to level.

Shiningbeef, level 71 Tauren Paladin

What are the chances of having a second set of heirloom plate?  Given what an altaholic I am, pretty good.
There's a reason this gal is the exact same level as my Death Knight.  Last night, I transferred her over to the second account I created for Recruit-a-Friend, and when both are 80 and she's granted her levels to my last toon, she'll get transferred back.  It's not a strategy I'd recommend for everyone, as it takes a fair amount of real money, but if you're going to do it, now's the time, with being able to buy everything up to Cataclysm for $20.

(Just be warned, if your main account has pre-ordered the digital version of Mists, that account is now considered at the Mists expansion level, and therefore the second account must also have Mists in order to transfer characters.)

This paladin has Mining, as well as the Blacksmithing I never bothered to drop from her.  For Mists, I plan to have her keep Mining and pair ir with Alchemy.

Darkcow, level 51 Tauren Priest

One nice thing about heirloom cloth is you don't have to worry about pants not matching.
Finally, there's the runt of the litter, my little Shadow Priest.  He's currently trying to get leveled up to the point where my paladin will be able to boost him to 80.  Then sometime before Mists, he'll get to 85 and also level Skinning.  Yeah, I know, but it's all that was left.  His other profession will of course be..........Tailoring!  Nah, just kidding.  He'll be another alchemist.

So, those are my plans for my stable before Mists, and I'll try to keep you updated on how their progress is going.  Do any of you have similar plans?  Vastly different plans?  Let me know in the comments.

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