Collecting rocks and picking flowers just got easier

I pity the Fool's Gold!

I pity the Fool’s Gold!

Sometime soon, the latest 5.3 patch will bring a change to all profession gathers of the rock and flower variety.

From MMO-Champion:

  • Miners can now level mining from a low skill level completely in Pandaria. Nodes will yield Ghost Iron Nuggets with the amount being determined by your skill level. You can combine ten nuggets to make one ore.
  • Herbalists can now level herbalism from a low skill level completely in Pandaria. Nodes will yield a partial herb with the amount being determined by your skill level. You can combine 10 of the partial herbs to form a complete herb.
  • Currently on the PTR, you will sometimes get fragments and the actual herb or ore when gathering near the minimum level for that node type.

This is one change I’m looking forward to.  I have all the professions covered and maxed across my alts on Drak, so any new characters I make, I usually make them Miners/Herbalists.  This also goes for new toons I make on new servers.

My little gobby Warrior, Dizzee, is at level 85, waiting for her turn to experience Pandaria.  She is one of my dual gatherers, with her Herbalism skill at 40 and Mining at 46.  Because I’m spoiled with tank insta-queues, I leveled her as Prot mainly through LFD, so her professions suffered as a result.

The same goes for my pandaren Monk, Siopao.  She’s at 53 Herbalism and 42 Mining and is only level 50,  but with full Heirlooms, the Enlightenment buff and the insta-queues as a Brewmaster tank, she’ll be in Outland and Northrend before I know it, not being able to farm at the appropriate level without having to go back to Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms.

The only downside I see to this change is the supply of the lower level ore and herbs and the Auction House economy.  My toons off Drak that have Mining and Herbalism rely on selling these low-level materials on the AH to provide them cash flow for riding, flying, etc.  The lack of these mats will hurt those leveling Alchemy, Engineering, Blacksmithing, Inscription and Jewelcrafting, especially if they can’t farm for themselves.

We’ll see what happens when the patch comes out.  But for now, I’m excited to catch up on my gathering professions for my alts on Pandaria.

Thoughts on Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Last week, Blizzard announced its newest addiction game at the Penny Arcade Expo East called Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.  Basically, it’s an online collectible card game set in the Warcraft universe that is going to be free-to-play for the PC and Mac, and later for the iPad and other tablets.  The initial set will have 300 cards and you can earn a booster pack of five cards by winning matches or you can purchase them for $1 a pack.

You play as one of nine “Heroes”, representing the some of major classes in WoW.   By using spell, ability and minion cards, your goal is to bring your opponent’s life points to zero.  From some of the gameplay I’ve seen, you can play as such characters like Garrosh the Warrior or Jaina the Mage.  The game board and cards are 3D and animated, giving the gameplay experience a lively feel.  Even the opening of a new pack is made to feel exciting, just like the real thing, lol.  I think the game looks great and hopefully I can get into the beta to test the real thing out.

So what does this mean for the WoW TCG?  Probably nothing, I haven’t heard that it would affect it in any way.  I think Cryptozoic has done a great job of keeping the TCG alive ever since they took over the reins from Upper Deck Entertainment back in 2010.  With 20 expansion sets and several raid decks out, the TCG is moving along quite well and the fan base is still strong.  The Hearthstone trailer contains artwork from the TCG and I think some of the cards in the set may have come from there as well.

So am I worried that Hearthstone will replace the WoW TCG someday?  A little, but I think it’ll take a while for it to happen, if it ever does.  It all depends on how the players take to Hearthstone and how popular it gets.  With everything going digital these days, there is a possibility that the TCG goes virtual and becomes Hearthstone or part of it.  We’ve seen it before with other WoW media like the manga and the comic book and even the novels could go eventually go digital.  I think the WoW TCG will be here for a while though, especially if they keep churning out the Loot cards that most WoW players covet.

So what about you? Thinking about joining the beta?  Will you give up playing Angry Birds or Bejeweled during non-WoW hours to play more Warcraft?

We’ll Win it Next Year!

Super Bowl 47

Congrats to the Baltimore Ravens (and Chewy, lol) on winning Super Bowl 47! =P  It came down to the final series of the game, but my San Francisco 49ers fell a bit short of making an amazing comeback.

The game had a lot of exciting and interesting moments, from the 49ers making it a close game after being down 28 to 6, to Beyoncé’s halftime performance and a surprise appearance by the rest of the members of Destiny’s Child, to the weird power outage in the Superdome that caused a 30 plus minute delay to the game, lol.

I wish I could end my 100th post on a more positive note, but even though my team lost, I believe that the Niner franchise has made some really good moves in the organization to make them a contending team for a championship for years to come.  Thanks to the Niners for making this football season an exciting one to watch, hopefully next year we’ll be the ones to lift the Lombardi trophy and bring the championship back to the Bay Area!

Pandas in NYC

Sorry for the blog silence (again), just came back from another vacation to the News, Jersey and York.  The last time is was in the NY/NJ area was four years ago for my cousin’s wedding and what do you know, I was back there again for another cousin’s wedding, lol.  It was an awesome week, spending good times with my immediate and huge extended family, can’t wait to go back soon!

The Saturday that I arrived, I met up with Fayle and Zarm for some Korean BBQ lunch, finally getting to put a real face to these pixellated toons I’ve been playing/raiding with these past couple of years.  We talked about WoW for a little bit, but mainly talked about politics, religion and how much Fayle’s net worth is…..lol, j/k.  These guys were mad cool and hope to see them again next year, for a possible guild meet up with the rest of the SR crew.

I went to see the Houston Texans play the New York Jets at Met Life Stadium in Jersey for Monday Night Football with the ‘rents and the sibs.  Got to see Tebow live in action since his days at the University of Florida.  Rex Ryan should have played him more, Mark Sanchez failed to impress his guests (us) and ended up throwing three interceptions in a loss.  Oh well, it was still neat to visit the stadium at least, lol.

I got to see the 9/11 Memorial, the site of the World Trade Center attacks that happened in 2001.  It was an experience I’ll never forget, I got the chills as I walked around the massive pools that were created in memory of those who died that day.  The city is going strong and rebuilding, as you can see from the Freedom Tower (the top image) in construction.

Spent a lot of time walking and taking the E and R subway trains in NYC, visiting other landmarks:  walking to Battery Park to see the Statue of Liberty, shopping in Soho, walking the High Line and seeing the various art pieces that have taken over the old train tracks and eating towering sammiches at the Carnegie Deli Restaurant.  I even had my 5 seconds of fame on live tv, as I stood outside the NBC Studios right behind Kathy Lee Gifford on the 10 o’clock hour of the Today Show, lol.

And of course the wedding.  What an amazing wedding it was!  The reception had an unbelievable view, overlooking NYC all in its lighted-up glory.  Lots of dancing and photos taken, we even had a hilarious OP Gundam-style dance-off between some of my younger cousins that I’m sure Slice would be proud of, lol

So yeah, it was a great week off, full of celebration and reunions.  I guess I better get back to work updating this blog more frequently again, lol.  Oh, you’re probably wondering what the hell the title of this post means.  Well, in honor of Mists of Pandaria, even though I didn’t get to play WoW at all last week, I did get to see a reference to the furry beasts in the city:

Mmmmm, yummy pandas, lmao. =)

Shared Topic: Three Must-Haves

This week’s Shared Topic from Blog Azeroth comes from Mataoka who asks:

…with the new patch, and all the new things coming, what are three things that you will absolutely not leave behind? Consider these three objects your virtual backpack- the twist is, a tiny story to go along with each item.

I have A LOT of things, lol.  If I don’t get bigger bags soon or more storage space, I won’t be able to add anything new anyways.  The three must-haves listed below all represent a different aspect of WoW that I enjoy.

Aesir’s Edge

I kind of touched on why this sword is important to me here, even to this day.  It’s a reminder to me of the one aspect of WoW that I love the most: raiding.  This sword is what fueled my passion to learn how to raid and become a good raider.

The Flag of Ownership

Arv and Adoe give the Alliance….Two Thumbs Down!

The flag also represents another aspect of WoW that I’ve been enjoying recently, PvP.  For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out how to use this TCG item.  I would kill countless mobs, trying to stick this flag into their bodies to no avail.  Then I figured out that this could only be used in a PvP setting.  So I started to do a little PvPing back in early Wrath just to use this flag.  And I was having a good time using it, lol.  I took a break from PvPing for most of Cataclysm, but I picked it up again after D3 came out and most of my guildies were burned out from Dragon Soul.

D.I.S.C.O.

Dance, Garrosh!

The third and last thing I would take with me would be the D.I.S.C.O.  This represents the third aspect of WoW that I enjoy: having fun.  I like the TCG items that others can interact with.  This fun toy can be helpful in breaking up the monotony in between pulls and/or wipes in raids, waiting to cap the flag in a BG, or just having a party with everyone’s favorite faction leader, like in the pic above, lol. =)