Wednesday 28 August 2019

Absurdly happy in World of Warcraft Classic too.

Right, What's that? Daylight? What day is it?

2 days of playing a lot of Classic WoW has left me firmly echoing Syp's eloquent enthusiastic blog post from yesterday.

One delightful and perhaps surprising aspect is how nice everyone is. World of Warcraft has not always had the reputation for having lovely people playing it but whether it's the delirious contagious happiness or the increased maturity or a sense that community is finite and matters, whatever, people are being really nice.

Half the passing Druids and Priests throw me a buff as they run past. A stranger gave me a free green 2handed Axe. (In a Classic twist, naturally my Tauren warrior couldn't use 2handed axes - I had to spend 30 minutes running to Orgrimmar to vist the Weapon Master).

I've done 2 group runs of Ragefire Chasm. The first was an all guild group and they were very competent and very friendly. It got hairy at times as we had two partial wipes but we managed to come through both with our healer still up. (My Warrior ate dirt for the team as is appropriate).

The second run was a late night affair with people playing at all hours right now. Another very nice effective group that cleared the place with no deaths this time.

Gear feels very exciting, getting new levels is a highlight, running these half-remembered quests is enjoyable.

Perhaps I'm the ideal audience. I both like the gameplay and would play it and enjoy it had I never experienced it before. And I also get very strong nostaligia vibes. I suppose I acquired a mastery 14 years ago that wouldn't have otherwise had any relevance and certainly doesn't carry over into the modern retail game. But in this  I know what I'm donig, I'm full of cunning plans, I'm relishing the ways the game tests me and I'm back with my tribe of people.

"Ah," you may be thinking, "You can't be all that absorbed if you're pausing to write blog posts."


I'm waiting in the log-in queue. Obviously.

Sunday 25 August 2019

WoW Classic: Information sources

 I'll list a few topics that I think will keep coming back with sources that might help:

What quests are there for each dungeon?
Wowhead is probably the best resourced WoW fan site and it shows. Articles show a completeness and a professionalism that isn't always there on some of the other fan sites.

The inidivual dungeon guides are in both written and video format making them great to plan efficient runs. Quests have their pre-reqs explained so you can prepare those before starting.
This one is still in its early stages when a lot of the links are incomplete. I imagine it will fill up pretty fast. (You can always register, dear reader, and help them out). Where there is data it's very good and it's Classic specific which matters.
Not Classic specific but most data hasn't changed much. Also a good place to look up quests.

What's Best In Slot?

Pre raid gear comes from:

Head: Blacksmith item or Blackrock Depths. Enchant with Libram which need Black Diamonds from BRD.

Neck: BRD. Also Onyxia attunement quest for fire res.

Shoulders: UBRS. Exalted with Argent Dawn for the enchant.

Back: Stratholme. Also UBRS for fire res.

Chest: BRD. Mail item so Hunters and Shamans will expect priority.

Wrists: BRS. BRD for fire res bracers.

Hands: Scholomance. (Note Edgemaster's Handguards best for threat. BoE world drop).

Waist: UBRS

Legs: UBRS/World Drop. Enchant with Libram which need Black Diamonds from BRD.

Boots: Scholomance. Mail item so Hunters and Shamans will expect priority. Also boots in Stratholme for Fire Resistance.

Ring: Maraudon and Scholomance. Also BRS quest/world drop for Fire res.

Trinket: Maraudon and BRD.

Main hand: Scholomance.

Shield: UBRS. Enchant with Blacksmith item Thorium Shield Spike.

Ranged: LBRS. Ranged item so Hunters will expect priority.

Enchants from the Enchanter profession will be covered in a separate blog post.

This list is pretty interesting for our late levelling. Pre-raid end game and even the first few weeks of raiding are about completing this list so that we can be at our optimum. And some of these dungeons start well before level 60.

Also note that many of these picks are controversial and the list may be subject to change.

How do I power level my professions?

Warrior class quests

Level 10: Defensive Stance.

Level 20-30: Brutal Armour

Level 30+: Berserker Stance and Whirlwind weapons.

WoW Classic: Preparations

So far my preparations for WoW Classic have consisted of consuming a great amount of youtube content and getting excited.

For everyone thinking about playing this retro treat there are a few common elements we need to process before we dive in.

Decisions - Race, Class, Professions, Goals, Methods

I want to play Horde. I always liked the Orcs from games before WoW even came out and developed a great attachment to the faction back in the first run-through of Classic.

After considerable thought I've decided to play a Warrior. Warrior sucks early on, its solo levelling experience terrible by comparison with any other class. It offers the most in the end though. Raid tanking is epic, warrior dps becomes amazing later on, arms warrior pvp in the days of windfuried Arcanite Reapers and better should be fabulous and it's the class with the best claim on the legendary weapons Sulfuras and Thunderfury as well as a host of great epic weapons. It also scales incredibly and attracts healers like moths.

The downsides can be largely mitigated by levelling by doing dungeons. If I'm in a dungeon I'm getting heals and if we have a mage I can get a stockpile of free food for later on. Being the dominant tank class should make forming groups very easy and I'm reasonably confident of managing the job competently. (I don't think I'd be able to manage the more intricate modern WoW raids as a main tank but I'm confident in Classic).

Knowing the class means there's a clear favourite race: Orc. Orcs get stun reduction which is a secret superpower against the dominant pvp class, Rogue. With rogues being able to pick and choose their targets most of the time they usually won't try anything against an Orc Warrior as both plate and the stun reduction seriously tilt the odds against them. Blood Fury and Axe specialisation are also pretty nice.

My playstyle will be heavily instance based because that's what I loved back in the day. In fact I recently rolled a Zandalari Troll Warrior and that was great in dungeons earlier this year. I think I'm going to have an utter blast in Wailing Caves, Scarlet Monastery, Stratholme and all the other old favourites. As mentioned it also counters some of the in-built drawbacks of Warrior levelling.

Gold is an important goal. I want to become rich not just to enable other things (like mounts) but also because I like the whole wow goblin playstyle. It also fits in with the instance running - I can be browsing the auction house while waiting for my groups to form.

I've found the best way to become rich quick on a new server is to go dual gatherer. Now the very richest people will be crafters who can be first with certain recipes and make a ton of money while they have a monopoly. These will be people who play about 16 hours a day and who are fed by a guild. That's not me, not even close.

So dual gatherer - with a twist. Miner/(Dis)enchanter. Disenchanting is an incredibly powerful gathering profession. Enchanting is a horrible gold sink but disenchanting when you are receiving a flood of bind on pickup blues is extremely lucrative. At some point (probably after epic mount) I'll level enchanting but I'll be fine making minimal progress and selling all my mats at the start. Mining is not bad in dungeons with Dark Iron Ore end game relevant and a bunch of rich Thorium veins at the end of Dire Maul. It also feels more socially acceptable to stop for an actual mine compared to being the tank who stops for herbs. Because a mine is more substantial and people will connect it with a tank's way of gearing up.

Cultivating a friends list is a very important part of playing WoW Classic. Warrior facilitates that because most people are pretty happy to have a tank friend. It also allows me to tune the 5 man team a bit so that I can work around problems like Druids not being able to ress (by for example having a dps Priest or Shaman). It may also let me get more Warlocks in groups as getting a summon is a huge boon. (Not that I intend to be one of those jerks who never runs to help). It also allows me to deselect jerks and slackers as some players are going to be absolutely terrible to run dungeons with. Getting serial wiped by a ninja puller is I suspect to become a big part of many people's pug experience. The friends list even synergises with disenchanting as I can disenchant other people's drops that they'd normally have to vendor.

At end game I'd like to raid Molten Core and all the subsequent raids. By doing dungeons I hope I'll have a decent gear set when I ding 60 and I can farm pre-raid best in slot and fire resistance gear pretty fast. As well as get the mats from my gathering professions for high end Blacksmith crafts.

I won't be an early 60 I don't expect but I hope to get there in the second wave when most guilds are still filling out their raid rosters.

So there's my plan for Classic, can't wait!

Sunday 11 August 2019

Age of Wonders Planetfall: the overpowered sniper strat - a walkthrough for beginner players

Hi, if you've just bought the Age of Wonders Planetfall game this post may help you develop your tactical skills.

This is a look at how to specifically develop a very powerful early game based on the mechanics of ranged combat, particularly the Overwatch feature.

If you've messed around and tried melee units you may have seen how they can get horribly shot up on their way in to where they need to be. This is, sadly, because melee sucks in the early game. Later on when you have heavily fortified teleporting or jetpacking units it might be a different story but this is the melee vs ranged scenario:

You move in. Opponents take overwatch shots against you. You reach the bad guys with about 1 action point left and do one third of what a full round of attacks would do. The opponents shoot you. At this point they may have had 6 attacks to your one.

So it's a no brainer to play ranged, right? Sure but there are two issues - you need to force defending enemies to engage and the overwatch UI is a little unintuitive. Don't worry, here we'll solve the first issue by making a sniper - if they hang out and do nothing you can snipe one shot per turn and that'll wake em up. And I'll explain in pictures how to set up Overwatch.

Start a New Game (Scenario or Campaign, it doesn't matter).

(Optional) change Opponent Level to Very Easy. If it hurts your ego you can always come back later and make a new game on a higher difficulty. Or you could try it on Normal or something and see if these tactics are enough to get you through.

On the next screen choose Customize Commander.

You need a race whose default units are decent ranged troops. So far the best I've seen for this strategy is Vanguard.

As for your Secret Technology I honestly don't know yet which one is best but it doesn't matter too much as our crucial mods are in other tech lines. Voidtech seems to be for enhancing melee so that's probably not a great one. Other than that just pick one you want to try.

Pick Martial Tradition, none, Vanguard Sharpshooter Equipment, none as your perks.

Customize him/her however you like.

Scout with both OWL scout units (leaving you with a 5 stack as your main army).

Build Central Replicator Factory and Vanguard - Trooper at your colony.

Move your army out to clear a nest of bad guys, no more than 3.

Use Manual Combat.

If the enemies rush into range then you can back off a bit and set up an Overwatch trap. Normally they won't be in range in which case we'll move the sniper commander one green square closer then set him on Overwatch.

To set overwatch press the overwatch action key (5 for the guy in the picture) then with the zone highlighted in purple right click. You don't have to do facing first as it automatically adjusts facing.

Right click in the purple hexes to set overwatch

Form your troopers in a gunline and set overwatch. In the example I've actually used a couple of them to clear an annoying obstacle instead of leaving them on overwatch. (Mostly because I don't think these particular enemies will rush into my overwatch zones next turn).

A gunline perpendicular to where the enemies will come at me.
In the example battle the opponents lined up just outside of normal range which is a tactic ranged enemies will often do. This is why the sniper is so valuable. Position the sniper so he is at his maximum range and take a potshot while leaving the other units in a gunline on overwatch.

The serrated white line shows the edge of sniping range.

In the picture it's a pretty low hit chance shot but it doesn't matter. The purpose of this shot is to provoke them and make them come charging out.

Here is the same time in the battle showing my gunline. My PUG has dropped a Blur Cloud on the trooper in front of it.

The bad guys move forward, triggering two troopers who fire overwatch shots into the bike. Look how badly damaged it is. This means our sniper commander can shoot it and because of the perk he chose he'll get another go if he kills it. One of their other units picked a good position at the edge of shooting range and got a couple of shots off, not triggering overwatch. His last unit pointlessly entrenched miles away from the action.

Position at the start of round 3.

Unsurprisingly the sniper kills the bike but sadly he misses his shot on the enemy trooper. I push 3 units down that flank to get enough to kill that trooper without anyone getting in range of the entrenched unit at the back.

I retreat my sniper one hex to take a snipe right on the edge of max range while moving the others to form a gunline back near where I started, putting them all on overwatch. My PUG uses its medkit on a damaged trooper.

He managed to get a good hit on my PUG as I'd stupidly left it facing sideways so it got flanked. Note to self - position better next time. But it's too little too late as I take my snipe then move my troopers up to finish it off.


So take your time early on and don't take on battles when your guys are wounded. If you look after them they will level up which gives them more hit points, accuracy and a skill: Improved Overwatch.

I got them all up to their maximum Trooper level in one game without ever loosing a single trooper. It gets a lot easier once they have experience and mods and once you get the stack up to 6 units. At that point I could auto-battle against stacks of 3 npcs and come away with barely a scratch.

It works even better against melee. I did a battle where the melee enemies moved quite badly and basically came in one at a time and they didn't land a single attack, dying to overwatch zones and sniping before they got to my guys.

You will also want to mod them when you can.

I like Nanite Injectors. This gives them a heal which I usually use at the start of combat as not much usually happens in round 1 so it means I can go in injured and be on full health when the action starts (and often still on full health after the battle.)

Ammunition is good, Ammunition - Flechette is fine.

Rail Accelerators gives you an extra range which is very powerful for this strategy as we're usually fighting at max range.

I hope this works out for anyone new and feeling a bit overwhelmed and perhaps some of the grizzled vets might pick up a thing or two.

Good luck and have fun!

Friday 7 June 2019

Particularly nice invasion today (Horde side)

If you're running missions heavily, the strategy I've talked about here before, today there's a very nice invasion.

Invasion world quests, central Drustvar

Time left shows as 4 hours.

Why it's so good includes the following factors:

- 4 of the needed quests pay War Resources.

- the quests are close together.

- the final quest, with the troll voodoo mask, is notably quick and easy.

Stay away from de voodoo

- there's also an Emissary quest so that pays 2000 gold, 50 WR and 1500 rep.

- Honourbound is the easiest rep so on my alts I was able to get paragon bags even though most of their other reps aren't Exalted yet.

Well worth doing on every Horde level 120 you have if you've got some time right now. If not, look at for this kind of confluence of benefits in the future.

Friday 24 May 2019

Not bad return for a 20 WR mission

Easy world quest WR rewards

My main is finding it a little hard to spend his War Resources. He's currently sitting at 4269 WR and just doing Emissaries and missions is enough to make him net positive. It's the combination of the 50WR/Emissary quest and being Exalted on all the BFA reps which means even doing missions by checking frequently throughout the day he still can't spend it fast enough.

It's still useful though as I can buy an item to transfer it to my alts. My highest upcoming alt is 104 so I'll probably have him at 120 in a couple of weeks. It will be great to sink a load of WR into him immediately and get his advancements done asap.

So with that in mind I'm still doing high paying WR quests even on this guy and especially on my other 120 alts.

Here's two world quests that caught my eye today and I'm flying over as I type.

A very easy 250 WR and a chance at a Veiled Crystal

This one is about 4-5 big pulls.

The addon I'm using to help me see the quests is World Quest Tracker. It also makes it easy to find groups for them.

8.2 gold farming idea

With flying coming to the new continents I'm thinking about farming world quests for disenchantables. Currently I have 9 world quests up that give items. If I did them all and they on average dropped 1 Veiled Crystal each that's 340g * 9 = 3060g.

Unlike many of my ideas this turns into actual gold reliably quickly. No need to place slow selling items up for months, Veiled Crystals are a busy market and if they don't sell on one listing they'll probably go on the next.

You would also get about 900 rep which is worth about 600g from paragon WR and gold payouts.

This could be repeated on every enchanter.

Thursday 23 May 2019

Tuesday 21 May 2019

Taking our new heuristics into the evalution of a quest chain.

I have some old quest chains hanging about on my alts and I decided to evaluate one of them.

Our war continued starts an 8 quest chain in Tiragarde Sound where you'll be working with Rexxar to, um, deny the Alliance azerite or something.

Here are the rewards:

1. 2.34 gold.
2. 2.34 gold.
3. 2.34 gold.
4. 23.4 gold and 250 AP twice.
5. 46.8 gold.
6. 2.34 gold.
7. 46.8 gold.
8. 2.34 gold and 2000 Honourbound rep.

Honourbound rep is worth 0.6 plus 0.2 for the medals = 0.8 gold per.

Total value for the chain is 1,752.1 gold.

For most people not worth doing really as it will take at least 20 minutes. Might become worth doing when we can use our flying mounts.

Evaluating BFA currencies for missions


1 gold = 0.25 WR = 1.7 rep (1.25 Honorbound/7th Legion rep) = 0.01 service medals. AP is close to worthless.

The long version:

Gold: our base currency. Can be exchanged for a great many useful items and resources.

Artifact power: this is a personal upgrade that can't be traded. With 8.2 it looks like it will become redundant, so long as your necklace has reached level 50. That seems very easy to reach. My alt who I've never deliberately done anything just for AP already is at level 46 a couple of months after hitting level 120. I'm expecting all 3 of my alts to hit level 50 before 8.2 or maybe soon after simply by doing missions and emissary quests. It's still worth doing AP missions from the table because you want the procs from your follower equipment.

War resources: The game seems to value WR at 4 gold per. A world quest that awards about 160 gold awards about 40 WR. The value of WR depends how onerous it is to farm this. With my main he has been WR positive simply by having all Exalted reps and the mission table advancement Azerothian Diplomat. However he can cash out excess WR by sending them to a less advanced alt so still pretty useful. Eventually the value of WR will go down once every alt that runs missions is fully advanced. Currently I do run WR world quests on my alts so I value WR at significantly above 4:1 because I'd not do a world quest for 160 gold. Part of this is preparation for 8.2 and partly this is developing this multi-alt mission table farming set up that I'm expecting to be an important part of late BFA gold. Let's say this may be valued at 5:1 while you're developing your mission runners or running out of WR when continuously running missions. If you find yourself skipping missions because you've run out then you're missing out on 2*226 gold from Follower Equipment procs plus 150ish gold value for a base mission for the want of 20-80 WR.

Paragon bags: 4000 gold, 500 WR (worth 2k), 2500 AP (nice but not really worth anything). So 6k for 10k rep which means 1 rep = 0.6 gold. (We'll discount the pets for now).

Reputation: 0.6 gold. We can use the paragon bag-derived value because all that matters is rep at the end of our BFA gameplay. Let me explain: suppose a mission runner will earn 85k rep over the course of this expansion. If you were to add an extra 10k that would add an extra 6k gold value. It doesn't matter that you had to sink 42k rep before she got on the paragon gravy train. There's no option to not invest that rep if you're doing emissaries and missions every day.

One world quest. The baseline for doing a world quest should be the opportunity cost of not doing an item world quest on my enchanter. One epic item disenchants into a Veiled Crystal, currently worth 360g and likely to hold its value into 8.2. (occasionally you get an Umbra Shard worth 180g as well). So if you're doing world quests that pay out less than 360g and not doing them on your enchanter you're not being efficient. This means that these WR quests I'm doing at the moment to get my alts through the mission table advancement are worth more to me than 360g, a value of 9:1. I would do a world quest for 40 WR and I wouldn't do one on my main for a Veiled Crystal. However this is a temporary situation once the alts are more self-sufficient from passives I'l stop running these quests.

Service Medals. The only way to turn these directly into gold is to sell the pet (Tanzil for Horde) but it's a pretty slow seller, mine hasn't sold in these last few months. A better way to evaluate them might be to base the assessment on the Draught of the Ten Lands experience potion. This item is extremely valuable at the start of an expansion when you're levelling your main but just a nice to have now when it's just alts. It depends how much you like the journey rather than simply wanting your alts to get to 120 as quickly as possible. It's more valuable if you stack a lot of experience impriving factors at once - DMF buff, heirlooms, Insightful gem. It's even more useful if you're getting power levelled by a friend or by paying gold for it. For me I'd put it at about 500g which means that 1 service medal = 100 gold. For most people it's probably more valuable but I do enjoy the journey. Service medals may be higher if there's another option in the shop that you value highly. I am saving mine for the ring which teleports you to the docks near the mission table. I've got it on my main and I want it on my alts because it will become particularly important when they are still running missions when perhaps being hearthed in Najatar in the 8.2 patch. There's also nice mounts and heirlooms on that vendor.

One implication of that is that the Honorbound (or 7th Legion) paragon bag is worth an additional 2000 gold for the 20 medals they give in addition to the other rewards.

Monday 20 May 2019

A look at garrisons for level 120 characters

Garrisons are Wow's version of player housing and they're rather charming. If like me you didn't play the Warlords of Draenor expansion it's fun to tourist back. (Especially if you've just been wiping in pug Mythic+ but the tank rant can wait for another day.)

At level 90 (or with your 120 if you boosted) you can fly to the Dark Portal and Archmage Khadgar will take you on a pretty exciting, lore rich and quite long quest chain that eventually sees you set up a garrison.

I'm going to pick up the strategy from there and talk about what you need to do to build an effective and powerful garrison that can add to your income.

Let's review the buildings in a tier list:

Tier 1 (powerful).

Town hall - quest hub, resource cache and prereq for everything else. It's best to upgrade this as soon as possible. If you don't have enough of the garrison resources character you can simply do other stuff for some days or weeks while your cache slowly fills or you can do some quests that reward garrison resources. Empty the cache every 3 days or so minimum.

War mill. The main source of follower equipment, needed to unlock the best missions. The transmog gear can be disenchanted for mats. With a level 3 war mill you can turn in a few scraps for more follower equipment upgrade tokens.

Frostwall tavern. Main source of new followers. Improves garrison resource missions.

Trading post. This is the sink for garrison resources and necessary to make gold. You only need leve; 1.

Tailoring Emporium. Allows you to make Hexweave bags even if you're not a Tailor. Curently the best way to turn excess Garrison resources into something sellable.

Salvage yard. Passive garrison resources.

Tier 2 (useful)

Barracks - allows high experience patrol quests (perhaps redundant once you've levelled your followers), allows a bodyguard (pointless) and increases follower cap by 5 (highly useful).

Alchemy lab, all other profession buildings. Turns resources into specialised resources, sells recipes, some minor perks. Useful if you have that profession.

Storehouse. Improves throughput of work orders. Bank and guild bank.

Tier 3 (rubbish)

Barn. A convuluted way of getting skins. Easier to farm garrison resources and buy them from the Trading Post.

Goblin Workshop.

Spirit Lodge. Moving around Draenor isn't important these days.

Stables. Good for completionist mount collectors and that's about it.

Gladiator's Sanctum. There's no one to pvp on Draenor.

Lumber Mill. A mediocre way of getting extra garrison resources.

Sunday 19 May 2019

Lining up battle pet fights: simple mismatch and complex mismatch

Simple mismatch.

The battle pet minigame uses a rock paper scissors system to advantage some pets against others (which in turn will have an advantage against a different type).

Here's a pet called an Anubisath Idol, currently the highest rated battle pet in the game.

He is bad against undead since they passively get a damage bonus against him, bringing down the power of this pet in that match up. If you're new to battle pets and are running around the wilds battling everything rhat squeaks this guy is great because there are very few wild undead pets but hundreds of critters.

Most battle pets have attacks of the same type as their creature type. So the simple way to build a team is to pick pets that counter the type both on attack and on defence.

This Bile Larva takes less damage from Humanoids:

It also has some attacks that do bonus damage against Humanoids:

So in general this is a very effective pet against Humanoids.

This system is how the site produces its counter pets. This is a pretty useful list for this simple strategy. When I fly around doing my dailies usually all the prep I need is a glance at wowhead to see Flier, Beast, Aquatic, then to throw a simple mismatch in slots 1, 2 and 3.

However it's not foolproof and it's not complete.

Mismatching actually gets a bit more complicated.

Complex mismatch.


Pets don't always have attacks that correspond to their creature type. In fact all of the pets that are considered counters under the simple mismatch system are off type. The Bile Larva is type Beast (good against Humanoid) with some type Undead (good against Humanoid) attacks.

Off type is the only way to get that kind of double whammy.

However this messes up our simple system. A Cogblade Raptor will mainly be using Bite, a Beast ability even though it is a Mechanical pet. If you send in a pet that's good against Mechanical damage that won't help because the Cogblade Raptor will not hit you with Mechanical attacks.

To optimise against a Cogblade Raptor you want a pet that is type Flying (less damage from Beasts) with Elemental attacks (bonus damage against Mechanical).

You can use this search engine to find your mismatches. Currently it finds 30 pets that counter Cogblade Raptors.

So complex mismatching is doing the research or starting then fleeing a pet battle to check exactly how you should counter a pet. Addons help a lot. I'm not ready to recommend an addon yet but one that shows the opposing pets abilities is what you need.

What else wins pet battles?

- Passives. Each type has a passive and some are powerful every time and some are useless except in certain magic. For example Critter passive counters stuns and Elemental passive counters Weather. Most of the time those passive do nothing. The Mechanical gets perhaps the best passive, coming back to life after you kill it.

- Synergy. The Cogblade Raptor has an ability that debuffs the opposing pet so that for 5 rounds it will take extra damage. This ability is balanced around 1 attack per round but the Raptor's main attack hits 2-3 times so long as it goes first which makes the debuff absurdly powerful. The final piece of the synergy is an ability that gives it a speed buff to help it go first against fast pets.

- Counters. I'm using counters in a different context here to mean abilities that counter or mitigate against opposing abilities. Dodge is pretty good against an ability that hits hard but has a long slow wind-up. Against the AI you can figure out when they will use their abilities and time your counter ability appropriately.

- Power level. Some abilities are just strong. The Nexus whelpling has a baseline attack that does 325 damage (at level 25). It also has an ability that does 325-487 with a bonus if the weather is Arcane Winds. This is just good, clearly better than the baseline before you consider the synergy.

You can find overpowered pets using the rating system here.

- Stats. Each pet gets a bonus called its breed and the bonus is lower if it's multi-type. So Power + Power is usually a better bonus than Health + Power. Some bonuses suit certain pets and certain matchups. Speed for instance is only useful at the tipping point where it makes your pet faster. Being 100 faster is functionally the same as being 1 faster. In general pets that hit hard probably benefit from Power and pets that outlast benefit from health. (Eg the Magical Crawdad has a heal for half its hit points which is better if those hit points are really high).

- Speed. It's worth saying that going first is really good, especially on high damage pets. My Cogblade Raptor sometimes kills an opponent pet before they get their third go. So it gets 3 rounds and the other pet only gets 2, it's like a 50% damage reduction from it not getting the third round.

Polished pet charms: gold analysis

I'm currently in the middle of cashing out my polished pet charms.

These buy pets which sell for a lot. For pet battlers debating whether to keep these pets or try to sell them my advice is to sell them. There are very powerful pets on the auction house for under 5k. None of these vendor pets are rated very highly. According to the highest polished pet charm pet in the list of vendor pets is Smoochums at number 15. That's 14 better pets just from vendors. Pet battle powerhouses these are not.

So cash then.

First a warning: pet value looks very high. That's because I have presence on multiple servers and value the pet based on the most expensive as that is where I will be selling it. Trying to sell it. Pets sell very slowly, glacially slowly, especially the expensive ones. So when I say a pet is 50,000 gold that means a pet varies from about 10k to 50k, and that it's essentially a lottery ticket with a 50k prize rather than actual money. However the lottery costs 1 silver to enter and pays 50k gold so it's a pretty good lottery. In fact the secret of making money on cross-server pets is to get really big so you're listing hundreds of pets on each of dozens of servers so that it doesn't matter if you only sell 1% of them on any given listing.

And here's why I gave the warning: currently the highest listing by gold/charm is a pet that would bring 859.71 gold per charm at that price. Remember you get 12-20 charms per world quest.

So off I go on my 3 level 120 characters spending polished pet charms.

Jenoh, pet vendor in Voldun

One of the vendors is locked behind some content I haven't done yet. I'll save some charms for later then and add doing a bunch of pvp pet battles to my list. Next week is pet bonus week so I'll do it then.

Saturday 18 May 2019

War resources

Writing yesterday's post I realised I had been vastly underestimating the value of the mission table and was led to the conclusion I should be running it more.

But how to feed it?

The table uses War Resources as fuel and, without really planning it, I realised that my main character never runs out. This is because there are several parts of his routine that are improved over the baseline new 120 experience.

So what do you need to do to get your alts WR-efficient?

The first thing is the war quests that lead to giving you Lilian Voss as a 5th follower. This means that a full set of missions is crewed by 5 followers + one troop instead of 4 followers and 2 troops. More she reduces mission duration and she's another place to put Follower Equipment once she's leveled up which will take quite some time. So sooner we get started the better.

Next is the mission table advancement Azerothian Diplomat. This gives 50 war resources per emissary turn-in which is basically 50/day. Running missions from the table costs 40-300 WR per day depending how active you are. So reducing that sink by 50 is a big improvement.

Advancements will cost you a lot of WR and will require a few Island Expeditions and Warfronts to unlock everything. Sinking that WR will pay off over time, 50/day pays off the 1215 WR it costs to fully upgrade in  25 days.

The World Quest bonus event comes along as a weekly quest about once a month and rewards 1000WR for doing 20 world quests, activity you'd be doing anyway if you're actively farming mission tables so always take this quest. I missed out for months because I simply didn't know about it.

Emissary rewards sometimes pay 200 WR which is another useful source. It's effectively passive for us as we're running all our emissary quests.

Paragon reward bags give 500 WR for every 10k rep over Exalted with the 6 BFA factions your character is aligned with. For a new 120 with no rep it takes 42k to hit exalted then you get paid off at the end of grinding out another 10k. Emissary quests give a lot of rep though - hypothetically a 120 character with 0 rep just getting 1500 from an emissary turn' in once every 6 days would get a paragon bag from that faction after 208 days. In practice rep from world quests, pre-existing rep from leveling, contracts and other rep sources will shorten that even on an alt that just does mission tables and emissary quests.

So passively we're getting about 50/day plus 200/week plus 1000/month plus (eventually) 500 every paragon bag.  That's good but it's not quite enough, especially when we're progressing new alts through the advancements tree. Note too that you can buy an item from the faction vendor that lets you send WR to another character on your account so it's very worth doing if, like me, you have some alts levelling up.

That brings us to world quests, the main active method of gathering WR. Note that there can be a hidden WR world quest - the new Naga world quest shows up as a pearl but can pay either WR or gold. It pays out more than the base world quests so very worth doing when it's up. The WR quests in Darkshore also pay above average and there's a repeatable kill 12 bosses quest there that pays 200 WR every time you finish it.

Otherwise world quests are the on-demand way you get more WR once you're low. It doesn't feel terribly efficient to fly off, kill 10 mobs and just get 40 WR and a tiny amount of rep for it. We can at least minimise this by valuing WR quests as mid-high priority when doing our emissaries.

Update: I've also discovered/remembered that world bosses can be a pretty good source. This morning I have a random world boss in Voldun for 250 WR and also the Lion's Roar world boss in the Arathi Highlands for 250 WR. (22nd May 2019).

Friday 17 May 2019

BFA routine content - some analysis

I'm taking a look here at the daily, weekly and cyclical content.

World quests

Contracts. A contract adds 10 rep per world quest. Emissary quest hand-ins count too so a typical day of 4 wqs and a hand in gives additional 50 rep per day. Rep, after a 52k per faction sink, pays about 4000 gold, 2500 AP and 500 War resources. Some factions have extra possible rewards such as sellable pets. Roughly speaking as 10000 rep = 4000 gold we can say that 2 rep is worth about 1 gold if you don't value ap and war resources especially highly. Even if you value them at 1 gold each then 10000 rep = 7000 value so about 1.4 rep per gold.

In 7 days of earning 50 rep a day a contract will earn 350 rep or about 175-250 value. That gives us a ceiling on contract value - if they cost more than 250g to make or buy then they're probably not worth it.

There's also a small time sink when doing contracts so if it's close then best not to spend the 2 minutes going to the auction house and buying them.

These are the prices for Horde contracts on Scarshield Legion-EU.

Honorbound 96.5g

Tortollan Seekers 127g

Voldunai 188g

Talanji's Expedition 247g

Champions of Azzeroth 280g

Zandalari Empire 300g

I decide to buy Honourbound contracts for my characters this week as that rep is a little better than the baseline because you also get 0.002 of a Honourbound Service Medal per rep.


There are two aspects to quests: context and individual merit.

Context is about how many other reward-giving game elements the quest completes in addition to itself. A single quest might be part of an invasion, part of an emissary quest, part of a weekly bonus quest, part of a paragon reward or part of the warquest Remaining Threats boss killing quest.

The most efficient way to maximise context is to do invasions that are currently emissary quests but at the moment I'm bored of invasions so I don't do them.

Warfront quests are nice because they have a higher average payout than other world quests, because some of the bosses can drop nice items, because you see soloable bosses travelling from one quest to another and because you can fly there.

Once a week there is a world boss to kill which is definitely the highest quest judged on its own merits.

The pet quests reward about 15 polished pet charms. Currently the Crimson Frog which is probably representative costs 100 charms and sells on the servers I have pet markets on for 7499 - 36392 gold, call it 22k average or 220 gold per charm. That's 3300 per world quest (plus about 40 gold's worth of rep). These prices are probably on the slide as over time more of these charms will enter the economy without a corresponding influx of new pet customers but it's clearly a very healthy world quest on its own merits.

The pet upgrade tokens can be bought at the rate of 1.3 tokens per 2 charm mystery bag so clearly the world quests that award about 15 charms are better than the world quests that award about 4 upgrade tokens but both are worth doing.

Pet quests can be done across multiple alts by setting the correct team then doing it on all alts before moving on to the next pet quests setting a team for that. This saves quite a lot of time setting teams.

I look out for the profession quests, either giving rank 3 of a recipe or for gathers giving a bunch of herbs for a very quick gather. In addition to the stated reward the recipe ones give 1 skill point which is not nothing in the late stages of a profession leveling process. The quests that give 5 expulsom are a great way to get that material as 5 expulsom = about 30 items scrapped.

The final quests I look out for on merit are quests that give purple items when I'm on a (dis)enchanter. Veiled crystals are currently about 340g on my server making these far superior to the regular gold quests.

Mission tables.

Follower equipment. I'm pretty happy with the quantity of herbs and anchorweed I've been passively getting from using the mission table. I have however decided to switch to the equipment that pays enchanting materials (Disenchanting Rod) as I think those are more valuable now and will hold their value better in late BFA and future expansions.

8.2 introduces new mats for most professions but not for enchanring so the Disenchanting Rod probably has more longevity.

Data from this thread suggests you get about 20,000g from a magnetic mining pick in a month of running 3 missions per day. That's about 222g per mission. Let's assume that we're going to be lazy and only refresh the table once a day. Currently the picks are 5k on my auction house so they pay off in 23 days of being really chill about this. Best of all, I believe this can be done on the phone app so it's a lot easier to keep this churning over while doing other things than playing Wow all day.

So the conclusion is that it's a good idea to get Follower Equipment on all followers and run these missions on multiple alts.

A second conclusion is that War Resources are more valuable than they look because having to stop running missions because you've run out costs you 222g per mission just in lost materials.

Here are the current prices of Follower Equipment on Scarshield Legion EU:

Crimson Ink Well 15000g

Potion of Herb Tracking 30000g

Magnetic Mining Pick 5000g 

Monelite Fish Finder 5000g

Tempest Hide Pouch 5000g

Kaleidoscopic Lens n/a

Rough-hooked Tidespray Linen n/a 

Disenchanting Rod 15000g

That's pretty interesting. The 5k ones pay you back in a week assuming they bring in about the same value as a pick and that you run 3 missions per day.

Now lets consider making my own. I can make bracers on my tailor and send them to my enchanter. 180 bracers gives about 30 expulsom.

Bracer cost = 10 tidespray linen (2.5g each) plus 5 nylon thread (0.48g) = 27.4 g

Expulsom cost = 6 bracers = 164.4g (acutally rather less because scrapping returns some cloth and nylon)

Disenchanting rod = 30 expulsom (4932g) + 40 gloom dust (6.7g each = 268g) + Star Wood (0.45g) + 5 veiled crystal (171g each = 855g) + hydrocore/tidalcore. Total = 6055g plus hydrocore.

Doing this research has led me to some conclusions:

- the 5k follower equipment is probably below crafting cost, the expulsoms alone nearly equal the price they're asking.

- these items are so good that I've decided to replace the 5% success chance stone we get from the vendor. 222g per mission beats very slightly higher chance of a bonus on all but the most absurdly lucrative missions (treasure map and battlerunes missions perhaps). Especially since the rewards from Follower Equipment aren't affected by mission success chance, it's enough that you do the mission.

- I need to start farming mythics to pick up some tidalcores.

- I need more alts at 120. 

- I should set up the wow app on my phone. 

Thursday 4 April 2019

WoW: Expanding my pet collection - the double dippers.

There are several ways in which a battle pet can have an advantage against another battle pet. Some of these are quite nuanced and complicated but two are absolutely straightforward. I think of a pet has both these automatic advanrages as a double dipper.

Fansite does a very good job of clearly displaying these counter pets.

This pet is very good against Dragons (Barnaby)

I don't quite like their term as there can be strong counter pets that don't double dip but I can see how using the double dippers as clear, simple to collate, examples of some counters works well for the site.

I've decided to make the most of the weekly bonus event being for battle pets by collecting these very useful pets.

So first, let's compile a list of several pets in each category that I can focus on collecting and leveling this week:


Scabby                                          Drop: Yogursa (Arathi Highlands)

Dart                                              Quest: It Seems You've Made a Friend (Nazmir)

Bile Larva                                    Pet Battle: Krokuun

Antoran Bile Larva                      Pet Battle: Antoran Wastes

Fossorial Bile Larva                    Profession: Skinning


Barnaby                                     Drop: Island Expeditions

 Fragment of Desire                  Raid drop, Black Temple

Scourged whelpling                  Pet Battle: Icecrown

Spectral Raven                          Pet Battle: Nazmir

Detective Ray                            Drop: Conflagros (Darkshore)

Against FLIERS:

Lil'Tarecgosa                                      Guild vendor

Sprite Darter Hatchling                     World drop, Feralas

Nether Faerie Dragon                         Pet Battle, Feralas

Nexus Whelpling                               Pet battle, Coldarra

Against UNDEAD:

Crimson Frog                                   Vendor, Nigel Rifthold, Drustvar

Benax                                              World drop, Anax, Suramar

Mud Jumper                                    Pet battle: Nagrand, Spires of Arak, Talador

Against CRITTER:

Stunted Yeti                                   Pet Battle: Feralas

Lil' Bad Wolf                                 Raid Drop: The Big Bad Wolf (Karazhan)

Globe Yeti                                    World Event: Feast of Winter Veil

Kun-Lai Runt                               Pet Battle: Kun-Lai Summit

Hogs                                            Achievement: That's Whack!

Against MAGIC:

Mechanical Pandaren Dragonling           Engineering


Scooter the Snail                            World Event: Children's Week (May)

Shimmershell Snail                        Pet Battle: Darkshore

Rusty Snail                                     Pet Battle: Ashenvale

Gutted Bleeder                               Pet Battle: Nazmir

Rapana Whelk                               Pet Battle: Dread Wastes

Against BEAST:

Mechanical Axebeak                  Profession: Engineering

Skywisp Moth                            Pet Battle: Timeless Isle

Cerulean Moth                           Pet Battle: Tanaan Jungle

Stormwing                                 Achievement: So. Many. Pets.

Dusty Sporewing                       Vendor: Tiffy Trapspring, Giada Goldleash (Garrison)

Against AQUATIC:

Enchanted Pen                          Profession: Enchanting

Jade Owl                                   Profession: Jewelcrafting

Enchanted Broom                     Vendor: Trellis Morningsun (Icecrown)


Magma Rageling                               Raid drop, Ignis, Ulduar

Singing Sunflower                            Quest: Lawn of the Dead (Hillsbrad Foothills)

Giggling Flame                                 Island Expeditions

Venus                                               Achievement: That's a Lot of Pet Food

Sinister Squashling                          World Event: Hallow's End

In my next post I'll log my progress as I work on collecting these pets.

Tuesday 26 March 2019

WoW: having a blast with old school tanking

I made a new Zandalari Troll Warrior, specced him Protection and have been dungeon running my way up the levels since Friday. It's been a real blast, doing these half-remembered dungeons with crazy pug groups.

Bring 'em on!

I really like the look of the Zandalari, he looks great with just the normal gear you find, none of this stuff is transmog, most is heirlooms.

My ride is a Triceratops dinosaur

The warrior is perfect for me because I like classes where I can mash 3 buttons while looking at the action at the centre of the screen rather than having to look at the buttons to sequence my rotation.

You're meant to use a defensive ability called Shield Block as part of your rotation but weirdly these groups are usually better tanked without using it. Shield Block prevents some damage which means less rage which means less juice to power powerful AOE attacks, mainly Revenge. So I just put three fingers on 4, 5, 6 on the keyboard and mash them without looking. If I'm in trouble I can press 3 or 7 to reduce incoming damage or on the Shift bar I can hit a bunch of cooldowns on long timers. I have 8 of these panic buttons all told but rarely need them.

Yeah, I split both of your pints. And?

When I need them it's pretty good fun too. I think my last group was trying to break me because they kept adding in groups while I was already tanking a group. They pulled 3 groups and 2 or 3 patrols in Stratholme which is a lot of ghouls and necromancers and ghosts. I rounded them up, popped all of my cooldowns, even used Intercept/Regeneratin' to try and squeeze out a little extra life while taking massive damage. Just about survived it. Intercept kite tanking is really good if a bit desperate.

If I die it's because the healer goofed or someone pulled a big pack at the same time I pull a different big pack but dying as a pug tank is part of the territory as is seeing the dps randomly pull. It's actually very satisfying ripping aggro from suicidal mages and the Warrior is great at it.

Let's talk threat for a moment. Most people do normal threat, healers do reduced threat (ie a healed point counts less than a point of damage) and tanks do 350% threat. On top of that at these low poorly balanced (but fun!) levels I'm usually top or second top on damage. So my threat generation is insane, I can aoe five mobs and have more threat on each than a dpser focusing one, even if they all focus different ones.

I don't know how I'll get on at max level. To be honest since I came back to WoW last Autumn I've found the end game a bit daunting with its emphasis on intricate dance steps to avoid dying in end game raids and dungeons. I do feel though that tanking might be a way to master Wow's end game and I'm having a blast so far and doing pretty well.

Tanking a boss like a boss.

Whether this character sticks for the long term or not I can tell you one thing: if you enjoyed the old days of WoW's Scarlet Monastery, Stratholme, Scholomance and Blackrock Spire you should definitely try one of these new uber-powerful-at-low-levels tanks. It's great fun being powerful.

Thursday 21 February 2019

WoW Casual Player Agenda take 2

I tried my last plan and it was way too cluttered. Trying to chase down all those different tasks and jobs simply takes too much time.

I present a new plan for anyone who is spread across several alts:

- one mythic dungeon a week (ideally 2 levels higher than last week's).

- 4 islands quest on main character. (It might make sense to do it on each alt as it's quite rewarding but frankly I don't really like the gameplay).

- LFR pickup raids on new 120 alts eligible to do them. (Not because they're efficient, just because they're rather fun). Uldir requires ilvl 320 rewards 340. BfD requires ilvl 350 rewards 370.

- world boss and one-off quest for Darkshore Warfront on each alt. Arathi requires ilvl 320 rewards 370. Darkshore requires ilvl 335 rewards 400.

- heroic lfg dungeons on new alts as and when. Requires ilvl 325 rewards 355.

- invasions where they also count towards emissary quests (eg Talanji's emissary with Nazmir invasion).

- other emissary quests.

- daily world quests offering specifically interesting rewards like recipes and pet charms.

- alts.

So in short it's:

Emissaries (preferably with invasions concurrently)

One set of 4 Island expeditions

One mythic+ per character

Darkshore ilvl 400 tasks.

Leveling Alts

Bunch of stuff when an alt is new 120.

Saturday 16 February 2019

WoW: Casual player agenda

Now that I'm not raiding I have the chance to reassess my priorities and figure out a new agenda.

My priorities are now:

- keep routine daily and weekly opportunities on cooldown so I get a good stream of items, gold, artifact power and war resources.

- unlock certain features that are desireable and that are gated behind quest chains.

- tourist the raids in LFR, preferably with a character that will benefit from the gear (340 Uldir, 355 BFD)

- stock auctionhouses

- level alts

This breaks down to:

Weekly prep:

Get weekly quest for the bonus event  across all alts if appropriate.

Use contract.

Buy reroll tokens if desired

Clear bags, scrapping/vendoring or disenchanting items.

Check gear enchants

First things

Restart mission tables across all alts

Run naval expeditions on main until I've got the heirloom rings

Check warfronts across all alts, running them if the quest or world boss is up.

Emissary quests/invasions.

Try to time emissary quests to the invasions so I'm doing them both at once. I'll write more on this on a future blog post but the idea is to see what the schedule is for the invasions and then try to do your, say, Zandalari quests by running a Zandalari invasion so that you finish both by doing the same 4 quests.

(All) Random world boss if up.

Pet charm world quests

(Alts) check item improvements from world quests for the first few weeks after dinging 120.

Concurrent queued activities

Some activities we have to queue for so it makes sense to get these done while doing solo content like the world quests. By priority:

- (Main): pet battles if pet battle bonus event is up.

- (Main): Battlegrounds till 5000 conquest points

- (Alts): Heroic dungeons if 355 gear still needed and the once/day extra payout is available

- (Alts): LFR

Island Expeditions

I've found I often forget if I leave these until late in the week so I like to get them done sooner. No reason not to do them across all alts now that the 5000gp treasure map is a possible reward.

Seasonal events

- Darkmoon Faire quests in the first week of the month. I don't do all of these but some of them are just great, especially the 5 profession skill points.

- Other seasonal events I'll assess based on the expected payout probably from selling pets at the opposite time of year. I'm not bothering with the current Love Fool event.

Auction house

- Weds afternoon and Sat afternoon are my preferred times to relist all my items across my multiple servers. I list for 48 hours so my auctions have all expired when I do this.

Quest chains:

- get 5th mission companion on each alt.

- unlock the BfA pathfinder achievement on main

Alt levelling

My system is log on, queue for a dungeon while working through solo quests, take the dungeon with its once a day bonus then reach a natural stopping point in my questing and hearth. Then log on to the next alt and repeat.

Alt levelling is quite a gold sink as they generally need upgraded heirlooms. I'm mostly focusing on just upgrading the ones that give bonus exp as any old weapon will do.

Tuesday 12 February 2019

WoW: when raiding gets overwhelming

I haven't enjoyed the direction Wow raiding has gone over the years.

In Vanilla raiding was mostly a gear-check. If your raw numbers couldn't crack the boss fight you couldn't beat it. Progress depended on people farming resistance gear and so forth and of course on keeping your players.

Over time and in response to the most vocal raiders this has morphed into a mechanics check. If people stand in the fire you can't kill the boss. The content is gated by the most incompetent person and players have tended not to be gentle with such people.

Over more time this morphed into more and more complex mechanics checks. All bosses have multiple threats and you now have to dodge the fire patches while avoiding the big rolling balls of death while interrupting the Big Spell of Doom on cooldown while dot dot dot.

What players are doing is they're getting ahead on the mechanics on the PTR or by having alts in other raiding guilds so that they can cope. If you're a slow learner regarding such physical tests (and I am) you will stand out as players increasingly adapt so that they're not last. Boss kills depend on mechanics, in fact many bosses can't be killed unless pretty much the whole raid has the mechanics down pat.

I started raiding this time round while my mother was seriously ill in hospital and I had to do a lot of caring and admin tasks for her. She died on 31st January.

I had to stop raiding, there was so much going on in my head that the pastime simply wasn't a leisure activity for me, something to unwind, it was a demanding and difficult activity that I was doing really badly at.

Clearly those circumstances are exceptional but even in normal circumstances raiding has been led to a place which is less than fun for most players.

It's not this particular raid. Battle For Dazar'Alor is one of the best raids I've ever seen and the storyline is fantastic. Fighting in the streets of my home city is amazing, very immersive.

An additional complication is Mythic+. I should have got into Mythic+ months ago but I've been lazy and it's difficult and challenging. As a result the natural method of farming gear outside raids also required me to do homework learning mechanics which I had no capacity for on top of learning the raid mechanics from videos.

I also looked into pvp but that also requires a very specific playstyle, talent spec, addon setup and so on.

So basically I found myself in a place where I didn't want to spend much thought or focus on my game yet the end game options all demanded it.

So after raiding for about 3 nights I've now left my raid guild and am mooching around doing daily quests, AH and alts.

Sometimes the game is just too difficult for the amount of focus one is able to give it.

Thursday 17 January 2019

WoW patch 8.1.5 end game gear: top tier.

Following up on the list I made last post these are the sources of top tier gear in WoW as from the completed roll-out of changes that are coming over the next few weeks.



Mythic 415


Weekly Mythic+ cache, up to 410 after a couple of weeks for +10 Mythic.


Elite crafted: bop self-crafted: 415

Auction house

Possibly BoE world drops (if they even exist will probably be super rare and insanely expensive).


Rated pvp rewards are based on your pvp rank, rank 2400+ for the best rewards.

End of match rewards: occasional 370-405

Weekly cache rewards 385-415

Weekly chest rewards 385-415

World pvp quests (Alliance get a quest to kill 25 horde players awarding a 370 item)

Titan Residuum vendor:

vendor: up to 415 best in slot

Seals of Wartorn Fate

reroll a loot drop

Maximising these rewards for minimum effort gives us:

Raid - progress as far as your guild can go.

Dungeons. Clear one Mythic +10 per week.

Professions: if you're a tailor, leatherworker or blacksmith upgrade your item as far as it will go.

PvP: you want to work on your rating. ilvl this high only comes if you're in the top three tiers of pvp (Rival 1800, Duelist 2100 or Gladiator 2400). Rival looks pretty obtainable and will give a 405 item in the weekly cache.

TR: this is effectively grindable high end epics. You just do the content that offers other lower level epics and melt everything down, slowly inching your way towards the high price of the 415 gear or the even higher price of the specific slot 415 gear.

So there are three progression routes which are fixed. You can't make your guild raid more than it does, there's no point doing more than one +10 dungeon for this level gear (except for melting stuff down for TR) and you only make your profession 415 once.

PvP you can keep plugging away and inching your rating up and becoming better as a team.

TR you can grind by doing all the 370+ epics and melting them down allowing you to slowly inch towards your 415s by doing warfronts, emissaries etc. This is probably low priority filler activity.

In conclusion most ambitious raiders are going to be doing a lot of rated pvp if they want to gear quickly.