Thursday, April 20, 2006

Mining Updates

Two recent discoveries:

1) The more western of the "inaccessible" nodes (maked "D" on the map) is in fact accessible by sapping the nearest guard. I'm wondering if Blizz moved the guards or the node, or if I was just too chicken before. Either way, I was just on a mining run and decided to give it a try, and did not pull aggro. Update to the update: Ok, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesnt. I can't tell why it changes, and I can't tell until I try. My advice: try to get this one, and pop a vanish if you get spotted. Remember to sprint away first until they fix the Vanish bug.

Final update: Ok, I figured it out. (Duh.) If the 2nd guy from the left, i.e. the next-closest one to the vein who will be the guy to aggro since the closest one will be sapped, is Level 53; he will aggro. 52 or 51 and you should be ok.

2) The green nodes in the detention block have been spawning with drastically reduced frequency in the last few days. They've gone from around 40% (estimate) to more like 10%. I'm nearly positive that Blizz changed this in the last week or so. Red, Blue, and Yellow nodes appear unaffected; I'm still getting one from each group on every run.

3) I did some more exploring around the south end of the detention block (mostly because the green nodes spawn so rarely now) and found another one that was possible. Lots of dogs, though, and it was a tight squeeze.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Dark Iron Farming, Part 2: Smelting

Important: before you can smelt Dark Iron, you have to learn how. Only Gloom'rel, a ghost in BRD, can teach you. He's one of the 7 ghosts in the "event" just before the MC entrance. Make sure you bring 20 gold bars, 10 truesilver, and 2 star rubies; that's his price. And also make sure you talk to him before somebody in your group starts the event...

Smelting Dark Iron requires getting to the Black Forge, which typically means fighting your way through most of BRD. You can't stealth the whole way because there are doors to open, in particular one set that only opens after doing an "event" that involves killing a sequence of 7 elites. I'll be impressed with the rogue who solos that.

However there is a short cut, through the lava. Fortunately, this is easy for rogues. The only consumables I use are one dose of Flash Powder and one Greater Fire Protection pot, which costs a little under 3g on my server.

Here's how to do it:
  1. Step 1: Stealth to Lord Incendius. Easy.

  2. Step 2: From just before Incendius, jump down into the lava and immediately head to the left wall, where you can hop up on a little ledge. Rest up.

  3. Step 3: Run across to the island. You can't get out of the lava at the nearest point; you have to go a hair right of the point. There are fire elementals on this island, but if you move just out of the lava you'll be safe. Vanish if you get aggro. Rest up and wait for cooldowns if you used Vanish.

  4. Step 4: Cross to the wall. You have to get past an elemental to do this, but since they move faster than you through lava and will stun you if they catch you, you can't just bolt past them. What I do is, from stealth, punch the sprint button, then cheap shot the elemental on the way by. By the time stun breaks you'll be on the ledge against the wall. Hit Vanish. Also, note the hint of an elemental in the lava to the right. Wait until he's as far out of the way as possible. Elementals in the lava can be hard to spot, so use your mouse-over to find them.

  5. Step 5: Long run to the island. Rest up, wait for cooldowns, and drink your Fire Protection pot. Now wait 2 minutes for the potion cooldown, in case you need to use a heal pot. Also, note the roaming fire elemental in the lava; wait until he moves out of the way to the left. The next island also has elementals, so again just move slightly up out of the lava then stealth.

  6. Step 6: Last lava crossing. Rest up, stealth through the elementals, and dash across the last bit. If you got aggro behind you, punch Vanish once you get to solid ground.

  7. Step 7: The Forge. Kill the 56 elite elemental, and start smelting. Hearth out.

Dark Iron Farming, Part 1: Mining

First, a guy named Nakhu deserves recognition for his excellent guide to Dark Iron farming. But I have a few things to add.

I'm writing this from the point of view of a 60 rogue with Improved Sap. While druids, hunters, and rogues without improved sap can also farm Dark Iron, some of the techniques I will discuss will only work for a rogue with improved sap. I'd be curious to hear how other classes/builds do it. I once tried to ask a hunter how he did it, but he evidently thought I was trying to steal his techniques (yeah, right) 'cause he didn't say anything. Was pretty obnoxious and self-important about it, too. Anyway...

  1. Nakhu advises only going after the blue and red nodes in the interest of maximizing ore/hour, but I suspect he wrote his guide before the patch that limited the number of instances you could enter per hour, because if you only hit the blue and red nodes you will very quickly bump into the limit. However, I have found that if I farm all four areas I only hit the instance limit if I get a few "poor" instances in a row. (I.e., bad luck on the nodes.)

  2. Map Notes:

    • A: These 2 nodes do not show up on your radar, so you have to go and look. As I've seen elsewhere in Azeroth (specifically one Rich Thorium Vein in Winterspring and one variable node in Searing Gorge), the ones that don't show up on your radar glow differently so you can spot them anyway. By the way, the nice thing about the red "A" node is that you can walk right up and mine it without sapping, killing, or waiting for guards to leave.
    • B: Nakhu claims this node can't be mined, but they might have changed it. The guards occasionally leave to march around for a few seconds, and if you pull the 3 hounds and kill them along the wall to the south, you can then walk up to the node and mine it without aggroing the guards (who will have returned by the time you kill the hounds.)
    • C: Both of these nodes can be mined either by sapping the guard closest to the node and then carefully positioning yourself, or by waiting for the guards to roam.
    • D: As far as I can tell these nodes are inaccessible without killing the whole group of guards.
    • E: These nodes require killing hounds.
    • F: This node (also see notes for "Green Nodes") suffers from a variety of patrols: a group of 3 rogue-sniffing hounds, a guard + two hounds, an elemental, and a guard who walks up and joins the group already there. In the last case I've never stuck around long enough to see if he leaves again, but while he is there the node is inaccessible. Anyway, the message is: watch out for pats.
    • Yellow Nodes: All the yellow nodes are accessible, although they all require a sap and usually very careful positioning. Note that the workers cannot see through the bases of the unfinished golems, so in some cases you have to use statues to screen yourself from unsapped mobs. Actually, I lied in the first sentence because in one case you actually tap the node without sapping anyone if you stand in exactly the right place.
    • Green Nodes: Both of these require a single sap. What's notable about the green nodes though is that they don't belong in a node group: I have seen both greens (or neither) spawn many times. Also, there are other nodes in this area, and to the south, but they can be very tricky or impossible to mine solo.