Hearthcast: Fun and Done

“Any place is good for eavesdropping, if you know how to eavesdrop.”
Tom Waits

Hearthcast: Fun and Done

After nine years, the podcast Hearthcast, is shutting down. Rewt and Freckleface did their last “goodbye” broadcast before calling it quits. Freck is moving to Japan and they’ve decided to close the show.

Having listened to them for nine years, it feels like they are friends. It is part of the WoW experience for me. They always kept it to about one hour, perfect for listening and fishing while in game.

It was fun talking to my guild master who listened also. We’d share notes or laughs about the show.

In their list of thank yous, my name was mentioned. This was flattering and it felt good to be remembered. They’ve done a lot including panels at Blizzcon. Living in Florida, they host Hearthstone meet-ups, they are called “inn keepers”. Certainly, I would say that they are active in the broader community of Blizzard.

I’ll miss them and wish them well. They gave me some good laughs, fun advice and insight into another player’s experience in this World of Warcraft.



Hearthcast and Eonar’s Verdant Embrace

“Sometimes, we are literally watching. Sometimes, you could be fighting a dragon, and there could be an invisible gnome flying in mid-air, overhead, looking down at you. … Gnomes. Specifically – only gnomes, actually. No other races, just gnomes … watching your every move, and laughing at you when you wipe.”
Ion Hazzikostas

Hearthcast and Eonar’s Verdant Embrace

If you listen to a podcast long enough, the hosts begin to feel like old friends. This is the case for me with Hearthcast with Rewt and Freckleface. I’ve enjoyed their work for years now even though now they cover the card game as well as WoW. Funny and regular people simply playing and talking about their experiences; I can expect about an hour per cast. This is ideal for me. If you have to go farm some herbs, this is one way to pass the time.


Here is their selfie — don’t you want to hang with these guys?

Eonar’s Verdant Embrace is the proc off the Pantheon trinket in the Burning Throne raid. My raid team finally has four (with more to surely come along) of the trinkets and we are starting to see them proc during the fights. I think we got three off of a six minute fight. Curious, I decided to now track it using my Weak Auras add on. Here is Wowheads page on Eonar’s Verdant Embrace. Almost any spell now has a quick copy and paste within the Wowhead page for Weak Auras. Feel free to add any spell that you might want to follow or are curious about it’s usage.


The new Wakening Essences will give you a free random legendary piece. I’ve only been mildly interested because I think I am very close to having them all already. The cost to purchase is 1000 and I am at 990! Egads, now I REALLY want to know what I’ll get! Tomorrow, fer shure, I’ll get my Purified Titan Essence.

Blizzard released it’s Developer Watercooler BfA Class Design Overview and there will be a Live Developer Chat next Tuesday. Cynically, I think all the design stuff will be about Mythic Plus Dungeon speed runs and that will be the designer’s focus for Battle for Azeroth. We’ll see!


How to Holiday

“Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”
Mark Twain

How To Holiday

The Midsummer Fire Festival is here! It is a fun holiday that can take you adventuring all around the planet and, now, to another world; Draenor.

Whether it makes sense that an Azeroth holiday is taking place on Draenor in the past doesn’t really matter. I guess the celebration is by the poor saps who have not moved on to Legion!

Plenty of motive to play; a new toy, a new pet, a weapon illusion and more. But, what it means to get this stuff is a grind; collecting Burning Blossoms. A lot of them.

I got my Set of Matches yesterday. While we were powering up for a boss pull in raid, I used my new toy and set myself on fire and went screaming into the boss! Of course, I apologized, “my fault, my fault” while inside I was gloating at my New Toy. No one had seen this toy in action yet! It was fun.

Today I picked up Igneous Flameling, the new battle pet. I look forward to leveling this guy up. I used an Alt for this run so I could duplicate the bonfires. Happily I have two Druids!

And, I’ll keep running Lord Ahune until I get the weapon illusion. Of course I will. You will too, I’m sure of it. Ignoring the cruel irony that we can not use the enchant illusions on our Artifact Weapons!

The toy has the hefty price of 500 blossoms. The battle pet is a mere 350. This means a grind and some fine flying over the lands. It seems that I’ve done this bonfire thing every year and can map out the path from memory.

I use the addon Tom Tom and have since I became a toy, pet, mount and achievement hunter. I don’t use it often but I sure do for this holiday! I also use the addon Handy Notes (for treasure hunting) with the extension Summerfestival. With these installed, the bonfires are shown on the map and I can right-click on the bonfire and get a “crazy taxi arrow” pointing the way with a timer underneath to tell me how soon I’ll arrive. When the holiday is over, I’ll delete the addon.

For me, I started with the toy and did the four new achievements on the Broken Shore and in Dreanor. Then to Northrend followed by Outland because the area is smaller and the bonfires are close. I’ll clean up on Kalimdor starting in Feralas because I like the southern area of that zone a lot. I forgot all about Pandaria, I should have done that after Outland!

Today I did the pet run which was “only” 350 blossoms. It took me one hour. I know this because I listened to Hearth Cast which is my favorite podcast and it runs just over one hour!

The episode I listened to talked about Tilting. This is a gaming term for when you don’t do well (perhaps a raid) that you start dogging on yourself and begin tilting and dogging on the game and every part of the game.

From the Urban Dictionary, “When your so pissed off from losing multiple amount of games that you play worse and worse till your so pissed you begin leaning over your keyboard screaming over every little mistake you make and complaining about gaming imbalances”.

Then Rewt and Freckleface compared the idea of Tilting in the game to how we can do this in our real life situations and recognizing when to step away or finding a fresh start. They even talked about the idea of “being out of mana” when you lose your will power. Good episode!

When you are faced with a Holiday Grind, prepare for the grind with some wisdom. Know it is grind and space it out over a few days. Use the best tools to make it go quickly and (really) mindlessly. Find something to keep you entertained on top of the fun of grinding to your reward; podcast, music, old movies on teevee.

It is a fun toy, I think you’ll like it!

Don’t Stop, Its Too Good

“All the odds are in my favor
Something’s bound to begin,
It’s got to happen, happen sometime
Maybe this time I’ll win.”


Don’t Stop, It’s Too Good

So much to do in this World of Warcraft! Sometimes I feel like holding on to a few things and not completing them. I don’t want the game to be over.

The Daily Frostwolf is on the verge of downing Heroic Gul’dan — what does one do after that? And … I do want to down Heroic Gul’dan; my raid team must be at least a month away. I hope it never ends.

Hearthcast is my favorite podcast. I love listening to them and the feel like friends though we’ve never met. This podcast is perfect for farming Starlight Rose; it lasts one hour. No one should farm longer that that; even though it was one of their strategies this week!

I am very happy with the game right now. I often raid on two teams, we have Time Walking this week which I’ll do with my friends, I finished the Heroes of the Storm mount for WoW a few days ago (at the welcome encouragement of my best friends) and our guild seems to be flourishing. Deez Wurds offers up a stark contrast with some past postings back during Burning Crusade which was a cool thing to read. His point is The Song Remains the Same but I take it very differently. The game is so much better now … and we did have a Cataclysm to re-vamp all of the early zones.

I’ve been thinking hard about Z and Cinder’s Challenge for this week. I have to say, after reading Story Island, I’ll have to work hard to come up with something as compelling!

When gearing up, I don’t bother too much with transmog; things are changing too fast. But, when things settle down, I like to visit Kamalia Et Alia for some inspiration. I really enjoy the weekly posting Sunday on the Promenade. I have to look good as a Man About Dalaran!

Genius Blogger, Gnomecore, posted a song a while ago that fit perfectly his character. I’ve been trying to find something similiar as it’s a fun idea. Not too many Tree Healing songs but I don’t listen to Enya much. So far … I’ve only found one song that fits my hopes when I am mount farming. Maybe This Time; from Cabaret. The song probably won Liza the Oscar.

Happy Hunting and may all your hits …. be crits!

Blackened Friday

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”

Blackened Friday

No, I won’t be shopping. You know me better than that; when they say “you can save hundreds” that meant that you spent thousands. It’s a sucker bet. Everything that I see for sale would be replacing something that I already have.

However! A lot of people get an extra day off here in the US of A, if they are teachers or have jobs like that — it is great to see so many players in the game with fun tangential ideas to explore.

I have been one upset little night elf. Having listened to the Hearthcast podcast for years and years, when Windows 10 was forced on me; the player would not play! It sucked. I tried some methods but refused to download itunes. I have found Podbay.fm! My spirit is soothed to hear my old friends once again.

Family Familiar
This is an achievement of achievements. I think that is called a meta? However it is called, it is a daunting task. Besting certain Pet Battle Tamers with each class (aquatic, dragons, magic teams) is fun. However, if one gets stumped, wow-petguide.com saves the day. This link is for the tamers and in the upper-left you choose the class. Xu-Fu’s Pet Battle Strategy is a life-saver when you feel cornered.

Gnomecore’s Genius
Brother Gnomecore’s ability to strip down the flood of information and realize an intelligent viable strategy is unparalleled. What a Week! maps out how we can best take advantage of the garrison resource weekly with the rep buff. Get on it and do the things. A time investment now carries us far into the next month.

Deez Wurds
In response to I Wonder How Many People Were Smart in Draenor written by Deezwurds, I would say that, yes, I made a lot of gold in WoD and I’m sitting on it and I feel a LOT of empathy with this statement:
The old formula is not as enticing as it was these past 7 years.  Level, dungeon, raid.  I am even having trouble with keeping pace to the story since so much revolves around dungeons and raids.
I feel that Legion is a bit too complex and might be designed for the hard-core players to shut them up about lack of content. With the designers intent on proving their point and, really, driving it home; those of us who can’t “do it all” are left adrift and mildly discontented. We don’t need catch-up mechanics or catch-up gear, we need time to see all of the things involved in the big picture.

Bankrolling An Alt
I have a good friend to whom I funnel herbs in exchange for raiding flasks and potions. I decided that it is time to take my lonely level 100 up to 110 and get my own Alchemist in the works.
It is a lot harder than I thought it’d be — there are hurdles and barriers. On the advice of Wow Professions, I waited until I was 110. I can get the dungeons and raids done but my map! Figuring out what is an Order Hall quest vs a zone quest vs a class quest is really confusing; even with the quest log menu. It’ll get done, I promise — I’m just saying that it was a shock how non-linear the process is for the desired path.

How to Play WoW – Old Timer’s Edition

“Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often.”
Mae West

How to Play WoW — Old Timer’s Edition

I was listening to Hearthcast, by far my favorite podcast, this morning. This week’s episode is All About That Sparkle and Rewt talks about learning how to use the Escape key to log out — this week!

It is kind of funny in that Rewt has been playing WoW for a long time. He has been typing /camp for years upon years. I laughed a little at his story.

Then, I was playing WoW (while listening to Hearthcast) and one of our guildies gets an Achievement. I’ve played with this person for years. I kind of thought he was nuts because he’d get all of the achievements on all of his characters. He has 22000 achievement points and is very good at getting friends to help, I’ve helped many times.

Today he types ….

Guildie: Do you do the achievements on all your toons or is it just me?
Me: Just you.
Guildie: Well, shoot.

I didn’t laugh. I sucked in some air. Imagine all of that time invested. Because he thought that this is how you play the game. He thought that everyone wanted to get achievements on each toon. To be fair, he’s had a lot of fun. Still, achievements are an enormous time sink and he’d fallen into the drain.

It would be tempting to poke some fun but: if Rewt has been doing it backwards and this guildie has been doing it backwards, then I know that there are things I’m doing backwards. These are both smart long-time players. It is a darned scary thought.

My last semester of getting my Master’s degree, I discovered that I was short on some classes. I’d followed my advisor’s advice and was screwed. That was a fundamental shock that I remember today. Everyone else had followed the script, I was stupid and followed his advice blindly. I did graduate on time but I felt like crying that day.

There must be things in this game, WoW, that are obvious to everyone else but not to me. Or many people know the shortcut (shift click) or how to get to a zone or “easy rep” or that stat buff or weak auras or …. well, I can’t imagine. Somewhere in there, I’m doing it wrong or clumsy or long term.

I bet that you have something odd too. It was a shock to them. I guess the only answer is to keep learning and poking into odd nooks and reading blogs and playing with friends.

The Signature Grind

I’m a bad woman, but I’m damn good company.
Fanny Brice

The Signature Grind

Hearthcast, my favorite podcast, had Dedguy on their recent episode called Get Rich or Get Good.

Dedguy came on their show to list all of the things that will go away at the end of Warlords of Draenor. Achievements, mounts, titles: things that you might want to finish! Give the show a listen.

Rewt and Freckleface then riffed on “missed opportunity” like not getting a holiday mount or an anniversary event.

Thinking on their list, I was reminded of a recent little thing. We were waiting for our break to finish during our raid and I used the toy Mylune’s Call. One of our raiders said, “Wait! What IS that? That is so cool.”

Naturally, I explained.

When the Molten Front opened in Cataclysm, everyone was in there. Plenty of rewards, today I remember Mylunes Call, the Hyjal Bear and the Mushroom Chair.

These, in my opinion, were the signature items of the expansion; along with the Singing Sunflower.

Signature Items mark a period of our game play. We are surprised when someone asks about a toy, pet, mount, title. I remember well being in Iron Forge and at least ten players had their annoying Singing Sunflower out.

Doesn’t everyone have these things? No. Because we did it at the time.

Historically rare mounts like the Ashes of Al’ar are pretty well known. But Mylune’s Call?

Here is the deal. During an expansion, we all willingly do the content. We will grind the Argent Tourney during WotLK, grind the Molten Front (and Tol Barad) in Cataclysm, grind the Timeless Isle and the Isle of Thunder during Mists of Pandaria … but we’d never want to go back!

Going back to an earlier grind is a drag.

I’d hate to do the White Raptor grind today on the Isle of Giants. 10,000 bones, all alone, would be a heart-breaker.

I was grinding claws the other day for I Came, I Clawed, I Conquered. I was with friends. I am at 2800 of 5000. Part of me thought, I’ll come back when I’m 110 and slaughter this place!


Doing the nasty grind now during the expansion with friends is the way to do it.

You’ll thank me later!

A Diary from Draenor

“A bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives roses.”
Chinese Proverb

A Diary from Draenor

Today I have visitors to my blog from: United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Mexico, Italy, Canada, Australia, Karakhstan and Poland. And it is 11am. The huge spike in visitors continues from the Blizzard Watch link. It is wonderful.

I dinged 1.5 million in gold on my server. While I may have written on the factory style running of my garrisons, you really do get gold for playing the game. Those Satchels of Savage Cooperation can really lure you into a LFR!

I have not listened to this week’s Hearthcast podcast yet, but my guild master told me they read my e-mail. I’ll have to give a listen tomorrow morning.

We are raiding tonight but until then, I’m getting outside. It is lovely outdoors!


WoW Garrison Management

“Wealth is largely the result of habit.”
John Jacob Astor

WoW Garrison Management

Or How to Turn Your Garrison into a Factory

I was listening to Hearthcast and Rewt made a brief comment on how he can’t imagine how players have so many alts in Garrisons. And then he mentioned the herb garden and mining.
Nope! Set yourself up right and you’ll never mine again (or herb or skin or fish).

No one really knew what the Garrisons would be when WoD arrived. I spent plenty of time worrying and trying to get a perfect follower team. I mined and herbed daily. I leveled some Alts, just because I had them.
No longer.

Today I have well over one million gold and headed to two million. I have hexweave bags (I give them away) set aside for the future. All my crafters have made my crafted gear. On and on.
I have ten characters at level 100, some of them are only there for the gold and resources. I’ve three more characters on my merged server now too.

Why Write About It Now?
For Rewt.
And if we are to be in this expansion for another six months (at least), you might want to level up some Alts and make a factory.

Your Base of Operations
You need:

  • Garrison level 3
  • Bunker 3 (until all of your followers are ‘geared’)
  • Barracks 3 for 25 followers
  • Trading Post
  • Inn 3 for lucrative missions and to cherry-pick followers with traits

Followers Do The Dirty Work
Of your 25; you want, at minimum three followers with Scavenger and ten followers with Treasure Hunter, the more the merrier.
Resolve to slowly trade out your followers with the traits you need (just those two). All of my later Alts have a lot more than the minimum.
You CAN use garrison resources for the retraining via Sgt. Crowley (is that right?) but I never did it.

What You Do
Log in the morning and flip through your main and alts. Gold and Garrison Resources are your interest; Apexis is fine if you want that. Primal Spirits too. It takes under 15 minutes to flip through all my Main and Alts.
Flip through your Alts and re-do your followers before you log out.
Once your newer followers hit exalted, they no longer need XP and so fewer missions and the Garrison Resources begin to add up.

Use Altoholic Addon via Curse
You can mouse over the Garrison Resources on the currency tab of your character and see which Alt has a high amount. Same with the Sorcerous and Primal Spirits if you are crafting something.

As an Alt nears 10,000 Garrison Resources; go to the Trading Post and buy stacks of anything you need. The more Alts (with Scavenger) the more you’ll make.

That Is It
I have three tailors. I buy them Fur from the Trading Post for the daily cooldown. My alchemist does the profession daily too. It’s a factory!

Expand Your Operations
Plenty of Alts!
Many players have alts with 10 followers with Scavenger and sell Draenic Dust on the AH. One guy I know has 10 with Scavenger, 10 with Treasure Hunter and 5 with Epic Mount — on all of his Alts!
Your JC can have a follower in his hut for 250g a day, there is no reason not to have several Alts with JC, just for the daily.
I don’t expand because I want to get out and play the game (like Freckleface) outside of my garrison! I don’t do AH at all.

I’m Serious
Fifteen minutes when I log in, fifteen minutes when I log out. Rolling in gold and materials. Build it up and get it rolling. I swear it takes longer to swap and the loading screen than to assign the followers.

Wait, There’s More
My Alchemist supplies my guild’s raid tab with all of the potions and flasks. One Alt might buy three full stacks of Fireweed, another Talador Orchids and I don’t spend a penny.
On occasion, I drop 20,000g in the Guild Bank.
I’ve bought the Alliance Chopper and some BMAH mounts.
One guildie has made over 5 million gold!

If you pre-ordered Legion. Use it now and get that Alt working for you.

The Shipyard
I have five characters with the Shipyard and the Oil Rig. It is part of my Alt Cycling too with the intention of gold and the Sorcerous materials.
It’s a haul to get Revered with the Prophet, I got super lucky with the Grumpus runs and the rep medallions.
Set it up. You can delist a ship and make another until you have the Dwarven Crew (increased gold!).
I learned a trick from Rewt on Hearthcast, use the fishing nets! I put the Tuskaar Fishing Nets on my submarines (so I’d remember which) and send them on the 100% Oil mission most every day.

Hidden Perks
I didn’t realize it but having Alts is great for holidays. I ran five through Grumpus every day for the Savage Gifts (I sent all the turn-ins to one character that needed the oil). I’ll run my main and alts thru holiday bosses if I need a rare drop. I am loaded on felblight so I don’t do Kazz anymore, too many alts and it took too much time.

The Garrison does not have to take much time at all. Once the Factory is set up, you’ll have mats for professions, primal spirits and … gold!
I think I’ll keep leveling Alts (super casual, of course) and fold them in to the machine over the next six months while we wait for Legion.
Remember: it takes three days for a full set of work-orders to be filled. Don’t be leaving your mission table, flip to the next alt.
My main intention was and is to make gold — all the other stuff is simply a perk.

Good Luck!

A Diary from Draenor

Bodhi: Little hand says it’s time to rock and roll.
Point Break (1991)

A Diary from Draenor

Busy times, busy times. I dinged ilevel 720 last night with a pair of tier gloves from heroic Soc. Watching /trade, it seems that 720 must be some milestone. So, I am super happy with that!

Since Tanaan Jungle opened, we have all been over-powered and over-geared for the content. Three crafted, now with Valor Point upgrades; empowered Baleful gear with your best secondary stats, the Legendary Ring and the heirloom ring from mythic dungeons have all been avenues to very good gearing (outside of raiding!). Now, to ace the mechanics!

People say “its not worth my time” when going for Valor Points or other alternate avenues to be at your best. The paradox is that this same Joe expects us to spend our time on him!

Kudos to Hearthcast and their 300th episode. This podcast has been part of my weekly listen for years. They keep it at about an hour, which is perfect for dailies or leveling an alt on a Monday morning. I love these guys, they feel like are my friends.

I was reading a post from Misdirections and followed the link on a comment. This led me to Bodhi Rana’s blog. This writer is of interest to me because he joined the Of The Queue raid team. The raid team spawned out of Blizzard Watch, which I read daily; I’ve been curious as to their successes and progression — it looks like they are doing very well!

Transmog Queue is another blog spawned (or at least inspired) from the Blizzard Watch crowd. There is a Female Night Elf Druid set that he put together that will get me hunting for some pieces. As ever, click links: leave comments.

It is 11am and already today my blog has been visited by the United States, Uruguay, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and Romania!

Happy Hunting and may your RNG be 100%