While I'm on my honeymoon, you my lovely readers get to enjoy the following guest post with the ridiculously long post title by my blogging buddy Revoemag. - Jed
Ok, first thing’s first. My name is Revoemag, or as most call me, Rev. While Jed is away, he was kind enough to ask me to write a guest post in his corner. (on his corner?) Anyway, I’ve been an off and on WoW player for a few years. Right now, I’m really an off WoW player. My main account has been down for nearly a year now. A month or two ago, I was craving to play again and happened to read that trial accounts were free to play up to level 20 indefinitely, or until blizz changes that. I thought, why not, and created a rogue, a class I was familiar with. I had known Jed for a while, hanging out in the Blog Azeroth chatroom, and decided I would roll my lowbie on the Ursin server, where Jed and his Avengers were located. I had also never really played on Alliance side and so I made a frightening little gnome named Plazlo. (as a side note, I’m not really convinced gnomes can be non-frightening despite what Jed might claim) Plaz was a fun little experiment and if you’d like more information on him, you can find it here on my regular/irregular blog.
Now then, this post is not about my scary pedo-looking gnome who Stop and Jed think is better-suited to driving a white van and offering candy to children. No, this post is about the second and third trial toons that I rolled, Revwyn and Revys. Rev and.... well.... Rev are both Pallies, one Horde and one Alliance, Revys the prior, Revwyn the latter. After rogue-ing for a while on my last toon, I was really wanting to learn to tank, and the trial account was a good opportunity to do this. I also thought it might be fun to play each Rev and compare each faction, so here we are. Anyway, part way through the process Revwyn has become the main toon that I’ve been playing, possibly because she progressed quite a bit faster than Revys.
|Plazlo and his big white van, er...ram|
People twink characters for various reasons, some for battleground competition, some for battleground pwnage (booooo), some for running dungeons, and other reasons. I suppose I did this for various reasons. I wanted to spend some time getting familiar with tanking and it worked very well for this. At level 20, you can queue up for 6 dungeons, RFC, VC, SFK, WC, BFD, and Stocks. WC and SFK are the fairly level appropriate options at level 20 and once you are geared pretty well, as a tank BFD and Stocks work just fine. Bosses in the latter two are 5 levels higher than you, but as a tank if you have at least a mediocre amount of hit, have a good health pool, and generate decent threat, they are fine. If you queue for a random, really you’re going to get put into WC or SFK. It’s never put me in any of the others once I hit level 20. I can’t tell you how many time I’ve run those two, but it’s been too many. You might ask why would you run these over and over, and the main answer to this is rep. Once I discovered that the Ambassador title/achievement (gaining exalted reputation with the 6 home cities of your faction) was possible, it’s been Donkey Kong on running dungeons.
Really I think the most efficient way of gaining rep is probably doing the starting zone quests until you reach Honored with each city (city A will gain spillover reputation while you are gaining rep for City B until city A reaches Honored) and then throwing on a particular city’s tabard to gain rep for that city while killing things in dungeons. Doing the quests in Dun Morogh is particularly rewarding as you get 250 rep for Gnomerregan and Ironforge each for each standard quest and then spillover rep for the other cities. Once at Honored with the cities, then running 5s is a pretty speedy way of gaining rep. SFK rewards a little under 3000 rep per run and takes a little less than a half an hour with a decent group. WC yields a little over 3000 rep per run and takes a little more than a half an hour with a decent group. Really good groups move a bit quicker. This works well so you don’t feel like getting put in one dungeon gimps your gain by a significant amount. At least I didn’t feel that way, plus I think I’d go nuts only running WC or SFK. The variety helps. The longest stretch of running these dungeons is of course between Revered and Exalted. It takes about 8 runs to get from one to the other. As it stands now, Revwyn is exalted with 5 of the 6 cities, with Gilneas being the last city, currently at Honored for her. The downside is that she now hates SFK and WC.
You will change your career path often, so having plenty of room to store various mats, enchants, and buffs is a good idea. Along with this, in choosing a profession, it is good to plan ahead. Take that statement as far as you can go. For maximum efficiency, think of what professions you will want to end with. Mining, Skinning, and Herbalism have very nice benefits in Toughness, Master of Anatomy, and Lifeblood. This all depends again on what you want to do. Are you a tank wanting to pull multiple bosses at once in WC, (say for instance someone, somehow “accidentally” pulls Kresh the non-aggressive turtle mini-boss in WC and brings her up to your Lady Anacondra fight. Don’t ask, it hurts too much.)(or say in BFD you want to survive if someone lights all four candles to open the door to Aku’mai)(or when someone pulls Gelihast before clearing any of his room in BFD), are you wanting to pump out big numbers as dps, (OH! or someone pulls Baron Silverlaine and his entire room in SFK), are you wanting to carry the flag in Warsong Gulch? (Did I mention someone, somehow pulled Kresh from the stream in the middle of the instance up to Lady Anacondra?) All of these things factor in to where you want to end up with professions. On a trial account, all profs are capped at 100, though as it stands, you can take secondary profs above 100 even though it says you have reached the cap.
Another thing to consider, is racial bonuses to profs. For instance, blood elves get a 10 skill point bonus to enchanting. This allows you to get at least a couple more enchants. For a tank, it would give you an extra stamina enchant to your shield, which Revys is currently flexing. In Revwyn’s case, she gets a 10 skill point bonus to jewelcrafting, which is good because she likes shiny things and little stone men. *shrugs* It would allow her some additional shinies and Heavy Stone Statues, which would come in handy for self heals.
|Revwyn learning about shinies|
Now the Arena Grand master trinket is considered by most to be the all around best trinket to get as a lowbie twinkleton. It has +12 stamina and upon use gives you a bubble which absorbs 1000 damage over 20 seconds. First of all, 1000 damage is huge at level 20 for any purpose. It’s a fantastic emergency button for any role and either PVP or PVE. The health bonus alone is also very hefty. Now for the crappy part. To get one of these, you need to turn in 12 Arena Master trinkets to Short John Mithril in the Gurubashi Arena. The Arena Master trinkets are looted from the chest that Short John leaves in the center of the Gurubashi Arena every 3 hours at 12:00, 3:00, 6:00, and 9:00 server time. Looting the chest takes 8 seconds (I think) and the arena is a free-for-all PVP area. This can and does suck depending on your server. Sometimes multiple level 85s show up as getting the AGM is an achievement. Sometimes other twinks show up. Sometimes nobody shows up (\o/). Ursin was very kind to Revwyn as she was able to get 2 Arena Grand Master trinkets in less than 2 weeks. I would check most mornings before work, most evening slots, and day slots when possible. She also hit up a couple of the 2:00AM slots. (my actual time is 2 hours ahead of server time) Most of the time on Ursin, nobody would show up. So, for any of you thinking of starting a twink either paid or free to play, Ursin is a great place to get going and you could always server transfer later. PVP BoA gear is really something that I’m not all that familiar with yet, but if you’re on a server where competition for the Arena Grand Master trinket is fierce, then you might want to shoot for getting these first for the stat help, including resilience.
Currently, Revwyn is at a good point of relaxation. She’s got pretty good pieces in every slot, at least for most situations. Since her activities are varied, she’s got a few different gear sets she’ll go between. It depends if she’s carrying a flag, tanking big pulls, taking on high level mobs, it just depends. That’s one I wish I would have been better at, gear selection. There were many times where quest rewards wouldn’t really give me a decent mail item with appropriate stats for say tanking. In retrospect though, there were several times I just randomly picked a quest reward when nothing notable was there and later learned I could’ve picked up say a leather piece with huge stamina. Now ideally, Revwyn wouldn’t ever wear something like that, but being a twink isn’t always ideal for what gear is available and so wardrobe issues are common. There might be situations where I would forsake the armor and strength loss and really need to push stamina.
So, if I started a new twinker, I’d try to be better at thinking about situational circumstances. Another thing I might try to do is to plan my race better. The racial abilities that certain races have can really make a difference with your gameplay and gearing. The big one that comes to mind is the human racial Every Man for Himself. With that, humans can forsake the Insignia of the Alliance and pretty much equip 2 Arena Grand Master trinkets all the time. With Revwyn, she has a nice HoT racial, but for PvP, she has to equip the Insignia. Though, once she uses her Insignia, she can then quickly equip her second AGM and have the extra 120 health. For dungeons at her level though, she just runs with 2 AGMs all the time. She can still get locked up, but as a pally, she’s got enough ranged abilities that I’ve never had it be a problem.
Well, that’s the long of it. Is playing on a trial account as fun as a normal paying account? No. Is it fun? Sure. It really works well for filling in the gaps when you really don’t feel like you’re going to play enough to pay for an account. Also, it’s free and for free, it’s pretty fun. The nice thing is, if I feel like not playing for a few weeks, I don’t even have to think about the money side. It will be there waiting when I do feel like playing. It wouldn’t be for everybody though, I understand. Also, when comparing trial twinks to normal twinks at the same level range, normal paying account twinks statwise kick the crap out of trial twinks every time. With BoA gear and much heftier enchants, paid twinks hit harder and are much healthier.
Anyway, for the immediate future Revwyn will be running 5s with her Gilneas tabard, fishing for Keefer’s Angelfish on Sundays, queue-ing up for some BGs (not Bee Gees, though Jive Talkin is pretty sweet), enjoying holidays, and finishing up some gear. Not looking forward to farming for the Diamond Hammer as a world drop or the Foreman’s Leggings from Foreman Thistlenettle. BTW, Revwyn’s killed that bastard a terrible amount of times, and he will not drop his pants. One nice thing about horde, they have pretty good pants. (in the form of Kalecgos Pants from a quest chain) The next long term project for her could be getting enough honor points to buy some PvP BoA gear, but I haven’t decided if I wanna take the time. This was not intended to be a guide, but I know it got a little preachy. Anyhow, It’s what I’ve been doin. For more information on twinking and trial twinking, just snoop around on the web. I particularly like Cynwise’s Green Tinted Goggles, Psynister’s Notebook, and Twinkinfo.com. Any thoughts or suggestions, just send ‘em my way. Oh, and if anyone has a lowbie they’re leveling or otherwise and need a twank to run them through some of these instances, feel free to give me a shout.