Things are going faster with my new boosted char on Earthen Ring. No open world PvP crap to deal with, some familiarity with the quests, plus I learned from all the mistakes I made before. 😉
My new monk Glynneth (Glyneth was taken, argh) took Jewelcrafting and Alchemy as her two professions, so my first two small garrison buildings were the Gem Boutique and Alchemy Lab. I find those two professions to be a nice mix of usefulness and ease of gathering raw materials – basically everything I’ll make comes from resources I can gather in my own garrison.
After some experience with Suldrun on Gorgonnash, I realized that Herbalism is a waste – the garrison herb garden is usable without Herbalism so there isn’t any need to gather in zones. Having it will let you get more herbs faster, but the herb garden supplies me plenty for the volume of potions I craft. Characters can only have two professions and Herbalism doesn’t carry its weight.
Actually, I think that all gathering professions are a waste in WoD: herbalism, mining, skinning. Yes, skinning. How to gather leather? With a barn – is much much faster than via skinning! I had skinning for a while, using it on every skinnable mob I killed, collecting scraps. The conversion is 10 scraps to 1 hide, and 5 hides for a work order (e.g. 50 scraps for 1 work order) – so dozens of mobs for one lousy work order. Or, with a barn, trap one Clefthoof in Nagrand for a work order. It is literally 10+ times more work to skin for leather.
I get the feeling that Blizzard might be not-so-subtly getting rid of gathering professions. I always thought it was lousy you had to take gathering professions when you could only have 2 overall – it would have been better to allow 2 production professions and 1 gathering profession. But with how WoD crafting recipes are craftable with a skill of 1 (thus not forcing everyone away to gather in low level areas) and the raw materials come right from your private garrison instance, why have them at all?
On the Earthen Ring garrison, my first medium building was the Lumber Mill, which lets me gather timber and produce garrison resources. Hence, my garrison grew faster than the one on Gorgonnash because I wasn’t blocked waiting for resources as much. When I finished the Gorgorond quest that awards the Outpost Building Assembly Notes, I used that to upgrade my Lumber Mill to level 2 in order to collect medium trees ASAP.
When I upgraded to a level 3 garrison, I built a Dwarven Bunker (to outfit followers and get a free Seal of Tempered Fate each week), a Barn (for leather/cloth and eventually savage blood), and a Tannery (create armor). Whenever possible, I assign followers to each building to boost output – one very important combo is a skinning follower at the Barn, and a leather working follower at the Tannery.
Questing even goes faster, although I haven’t timed it or anything. Many quests boil down to killing X number of mobs, so with a Brewmaster monk, I just put up my Black Ox statue and gather everything within a 30 yard radius and then pick them off one by one. Less moving for me! Although I have been guilty of poor placement and ahem… rounded up a few too many mobs once or twice. 😉
My favorite technique when fighting a boss with a bunch of adds: put up the statue, move to the side, then taunt the boss away while his underlings keep busy with the statue. It’s like surgically picking out the one mob that matters while distracting the rest. Win!
I like the BrewMaster spec, I might switch over Suldrun (on Gorgonnash) over to it to replace WindWalker.
After hitting iLevel 630, Glynneth became eligible to join the guild for a real raid. Not that LFR easy-mode stuff. 😉 I jest because as I mentioned earlier, I kinda like LFR and have plenty of fun in there.
The guild started out trying some heroic-mode fights, which I didn’t join for. But after that wound down, they opened up to more players so I squeezed in as an extra healer for Brackenspore and Ko’ragh.
I had done both via LFR but I knew the “real” fights would be tougher.
As it turned out, they were much tougher. We wiped once on Brackenspore but downed him the next time around. It was pretty hectic and I’m probably the lowest geared player in the raid, but I did have a lot of fun.
Even better, since everybody else was decently geared, I walked away with a nice upgrade: spaulders (shoulder armor) of item level 655! My item level jumped from 630 to 634 after that fight – awesome.
Now my lagging gear is just three pieces: helm, belt, boots. Since I have a Tannery at my garrison, if I also get a better necklace, ring, or cloak, I can swap out that item out and craft a replacement at the Tannery. Essentially I’ll be hoping for a helm, belt, or boots as a direct replacement; or a necklace, ring, or cloak as an indirect replacement (any of those items will replace one of my current crafted pieces – limit of 3 in WoD).