Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Easy Gold With Pandaren Cooking - On A Level 85 Alt

Easy Gold With Pandaren Cooking
Over the last couple of weeks, I've been working on leveling my cooking skill to max on my main level 90 Paladin. To do this, I've started 3 other farms on level 85 alts to grow the vegetables needed for all the various Ways now available. I've also kept all of the meats & fish that I gathered whilst questing & that has helped me keep the cost down. I've only done 3 Ways so far but I'm not in a rush so that's ok by me.

But yesterday, I finally hit Exalted with the Tillers & started growing the first of my Motes of Harmony crop on my main so that will reduce the speed at which I can produce enough veggies for leveling and will also then delay me getting my farm produce to the Auction House. So I started wondering what other ways I could use Cooking or Farming to make some gold besides selling veggies or buff foods.

I've seen talk of the Ironpaw Tokens but not taken much notice until this morning when I hit up The Undermine Journal. There I saw this summary of the Ironpaw Token Trades & wandered off to investigate.

Now maybe I'm just a bit slow here but I didn't realise I could turn meats, fish & vegetables into Bundles of Groceries to hand in for an Ironpaw Token & then use that Ironpaw token to buy the materials needed for whatever I want to cook. Well, no, that's not quite true - I did know but the prices on the Auction House for the mats meant that I discounted this tactic & didn't look at it again. It seemed kind of silly to me to hand in 20 meat/fish for an Ironpaw Token & then use that token to buy just 5 meat/fish of the kind I wanted & don't even think about using vegetables for this either! (Hand in 100 veggies for 25 of a different kind, no thanks!)

But I missed the most lucrative items! Just look at the average prices on my server for the Black Pepper & 100 Year Soy Sauce - both are only available from the vendor & paid for with Ironpaw Tokens.

Looking at the Summary screenshot above - almost all the meats I wrote about in last weeks' 'Where to Farm' series would make really good profits if turned into a Bundle of Groceries & handed in for Ironpaw tokens to buy Soy Sauce or Black Pepper but that would take up valuable time which many of us don't have - especially with all the dailies to be done. No, the better option here is to check your own Auction House for cheap meats & fish & bundle those up. It will take a small investment initially but turning 85 gold into about 400 gold is not to be ignored!

I thought I needed to be level 90 to gain access to the quest to open up the Bundle of Groceries function but I tested it on one of my level 85 farmers this morning & all you need to do is the first quest for each of the 6 Ways. Once you have all 6 Ways started in your cookbook, you should have 10 or so Ironpaw Tokens too which is a nice bonus to get your gold flowing. I also thought you needed to be level 90 to get the Ironpaw Tokens from the daily quests in the first place ( well, you do need to be 90 for the dailies but I thought that was the only source!)

If you don't have your cooking to 525 yet, don't worry about that either! You can now level your cooking almost all the way with Pandaren vendor bought items. The only materials I needed & didn't have were the Golden Carp - I think I bought 2 stacks in the end but you can fish those up for yourself if you want to. The trainer in Halfhill is also the vendor for the materials & there is a handy-dandy fire/oven next to her so you don't even have to move from your spot!

Going forward, you will only need one character able to hand in Bundles of Groceries to get your Ironpaw Tokens but as I mentioned above, if you do open all 6 Ways, you should have about 10 Ironpaw Tokens on each character & all without spending gold to make Bundles. Of course, this works best if you already have your cooking leveled fairly high but with the Pilgrim's Bounty festival coming up 18th November in game, you will be able to level your cooking to 350 very easily & then head straight for the Cooking trainer in Halfhill to finish off.

So now I have 2 alts with high level cooking - my Paladin is going for the full collection of recipes & achievements but my little farming rogue has earned me 10 Ironpaw tokens for easy money up front & will continue to Bundle Groceries as I find them on the Auction House using my new spreadsheet to work out best conversion rates. I could level cooking on 4 other alts but I think I'll just wait for the Pilgrims to get to town & take the easy route there too :P

Edited to add: David very kindly left a great comment earlier that I thought I should add it to the post. I have no idea why I didn't even think of this but it's so obvious once pointed out! Oops!

From David : You are also missing another way to get crops to continue cooking. You can buy 20 meats off the AH and bundle them together to trade them for 25 (not 5) of a given crop. Looking at your TUJ screenshot, you can turn 90g (20xTurtle meat) into 625g (25xRed Blossom Leek). You can use them for your own cooking or sell the crop to buy a different kind. I'm 600 in all the ways and still making a profit with that technique.

Oh & by the way - what is it with cats & bags? I went looking for a pic of grocery bags & got cats in bags instead!


image © Mike Disharoon on Flickr under Creative Commons licence

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

New Gold Survey 2012

Gold Survey 2012 - WoW
Just a quick post from me today to let you all know that Eric over at The Golden Crusade (@xsinthis on Twitter) has released his Gold Survey for 2012. His results from last years' survey make for an interesting read & the more answers he gets this year, the more accurate the results will be.

The survey is really short - just 5 or 6 questions so if you have a few minutes spare, pop over to The Golden Crusade & click some boxes!

If you read gold blogs regularly then I'd guess you have an interest in making gold in World of Warcraft! Knowing more information about general gold levels, wealth distribution etc might help you decide where to focus your efforts in game or if you're like me, just being nosy!

Having bought a bunch of TCG mounts late in the summer, my actual gold levels are way down from where they were but I'm slowly building them back up again. I've been resisting the Black Market Auction House & the other gold sinks Blizzard have introduced in Mists of Pandaria but I know that as soon as I get back to that magical 1 million gold point I will probably splurge again!

In the meantime, I'm leveling alts & professions, raising reputations everywhere & generally filling up my mailboxes with stuff to sort out 'later'. I'll let you know when I tackle that as the results should be interesting to say the least!


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Monday, 29 October 2012

Farming Meats in Mists of Pandaria - All You Needed To Know!

Farming Various Meats in Mists of Pandaria
As I leveled some of my cooking skills in Mists of Pandaria, I found that apart from fish & vegetables, I needed various meats too. So I set off to investigate and found some of the best places to go & farm those meats for yourself. You could buy them off the Auction House of course but with prices still quite high, I decided to farm instead especially as my only level 90 is also my Skinner and I can always use more leather!

Over the past week or so, I have covered where to farm these meats & provided little maps to show you exactly where the areas are.


I received a couple of comments on those posts with helpful extra information & I've since found some other useful bits to add so I thought I'd put them all here for you in one easy reference post.

Wildfowl Breast - Tailswish pointed out that the Glade Singers have a 'sleep' spell which some farmers might find irritating - I know I did, especially as I pulled about 3 at once! Felt like Sleeping Beauty there for most of the fight! lol

Raw Crocolisk Belly - Tailswish let me know that the Crocs in Vale of Eternal Blossom aren't always the daily so it may be best to stick to the area in Krasarang Wilds for these. I farmed some last night on my very slow paladin - 35 in 35 minutes (plus all the leather of course) not too bad but would have been better on a quicker alt. I didn't have to wait for any respawn at all, especially once I realised there were some crocs in the mid part of the island too!

Mogram was kind enough to tell me about the rare spawn Blackhoof in Valley of the Four Winds - he drops an amazing Battle Horn which allows you to pull enemies from 40 yards away - great for mass AoE farming (if you can handle the mobs of course!).

I focused my posts on farming to level the various new Ways within the cooking profession but these are not the only uses for some of these meats.

  • Raw Tiger Steak - used for the Pandaren Banquet (10 per) & the Great Pandaren Banquet (20 per) which are the 10-man & 25-man raid feasts. However there is a small benefit to individuals to use their own specialised food rather than a Banquet in a raid situation so it may be that your raid team will ask you to bring your own food buff.(thank you to ScottieGazelle for the banquet info).
  • Raw Tiger Steak - also used for Chun Tian Spring Rolls which is the level 90 buff food for tanks (+450stamina)
  • Raw Crab Meat - used in Steamed Crab Surprise, the level 90 buff food for healers (+300 spirit)
  • Raw Crocolisk Belly - used in the Mogu Fish Stew, the level 90 buff food for intellect users (+300 intellect)
  • Raw Turtle Meat - the basis for the Sea Mist Rice Noodles, the level 90 buff food for agility users (+300 agility)
  • Mushan Ribs - used for Black Pepper Ribs & Shrimp (damn that sounds good!), this is the level 90 buff food for strength users (+300 strength)
  • Wildfowl Breast - used in Wildfowl Ginseng Soup which is a level 87 buff food for hit (+275 hit).
I do hope you found this series of farming posts useful - sometimes knowing where to farm is all you need to get some gold flowing. As the newness of Mists of Pandaria wears off, many players who are currently farming to level their professions will move on to raiding, challenge modes, pet battles & all the other new stuff Blizzard has provided for us. If you have the patience & time to do some farming yourself, I expect these meats will hold fairly good prices at the Auction House - perhaps a little farming in between battlegrounds would be good for PvP'ers gold making too.


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Saturday, 27 October 2012

Mists of Pandaria - Where to Farm Wildfowl Breast

Where to Farm Wildfowl Breast
Wildfowl Breast drops from most of the large birdlife in Pandaria - not only Cranes but Bonesplitters, Corpsepickers & Plainshawks too. Wildfowl Breasts are the most widely used meat in the various cooking specialisations too - 13 for Way of the Wok, 50 for Way of the Steamer & 25 for Way of the Oven so that's at least 88 you will need if you want to complete all the Ways for the final achievement.

Initially the drop rate of Wildfowl Breasts was really high but has since been lowered so it's difficult to tell for now what the average drop rate is. Most comments seem to indicate around a 40-50% drop rate which is still not too bad as there are loads of mobs at lower levels to farm.
Wildfowl Breast farm areas - Valley of Four Winds
There doesn't seem to be a 'best place' to farm these so I've picked a couple of areas I found whilst leveling. As you are questing through Valley of the Four Winds, you will probably find yourself killing Glade Hunters, Glade Singers & Glade Sprinters in the Gilded Fen, just south of the Pools of Purity. These mobs have 147k health and move around a fair bit so you could easily pick up 2 or 3 at a time or just chain pull if that's your preferred farming method. They are only level 86 mobs & my undergeared DK is killing these quite happily so a well geared 90 would probably cut through them in no time!

Also in Valley of the Four Winds are the Whitefisher Cranes with just 139k health. These are in the far west of the zone, just below that annoying Headland that I couldn't explore at level 86 or just south east of Paoquan Hollow in the Singing Marshes.
Wildfowl Breast farm area - Kun-Lai Summit
In Kun-Lai Summit at level 87ish, you will end up questing in Shado-Li area up against the wall to Townlong Steppes. Once you've finished rolling barrels onto your enemies, you'll find the Kun-Lai Corpsepickers hard at work on the piles of dead bodies. With 215k health, these are a little harder to kill than the Cranes in Valley of Four Winds but they are in a smaller area & respawn fairly quickly. Not the most pleasant area to spend time in, the drop rate seems to be around the 50% so if you want to get your own back on these carrion birds, this is your spot!

Another lower level area is in Krasarang Wilds, all along the river area between Thunder Cleft & The Incursion area. There are also tigers in the forest so if you do manage to clear all the birds, you can kill tigers whilst you wait for respawns. I didn't farm here heavily as I was in full quest mode but the Carp Hunters have only 147k health so should die easily to a level 90.
Wildfowl Breast farm area - Krasarang Wilds
I'm questing again on my DK, working my way through Valley of the Four Winds. I've done the Gilded Fen quests & also the quests to get grain at the brewery (where those annoying little imps are!). The Hawks that have stolen the grain bags also give Wildfowl Breasts & I already have 28 in my bags without having to farm at all. Sweet! It helps to have some music going & a good mouse saves your wrists from fatigue too


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Mists of Pandaria Cooking Meats Series
Got all your Wildfowl Breasts but need to know where to farm the other Mists of Pandaria cooking meats? Check out my other posts in this series.



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Friday, 26 October 2012

Mists of Pandaria - Where to Farm Mushan Ribs

Where to Farm Mushan Ribs
Strangely enough, I couldn't find any decent photos of a Mushan for my post header but I imagine their ribs would be familiar to Fred & Wilma! So where to farm Mushan Ribs in Pandaria? As usual, you have a choice of places, some better than others depending on your character level.

Starting off with the level 86/87 farmers, I'd suggest Valley of the Four Winds, at the Grassy Cline, not too far from Pang's Stead at the start of the zone or in the far south west, near the Nesingwary Camp (that guy gets everywhere, doesn't he?). At the Grassy Cline you will find Adolescent Mushan with 276k health as well as adults with 322k health. Both have a drop rate for Ribs of around 40%.
Mushan Ribs farm areas, Valley of the Four Winds
However, I found them a bit tough & slow to fight, especially as it's close to the Turtle farming spot I mentioned yesterday & there's almost always someone farming in that area. A better spot for these I think, is the Nesingwary Camp area. The Dustback Mushan there have only 129k health (unless you stumble into the Dustback Warders with 322k health!) and still have around 40% drop rate. As a small bonus, there are also turtles & tigers in the area so you can combine all 3 meats in your farming session. The one annoying thing I found was the stealthed foxes! There I was, happily questing away & Bam! damned fox appears & throws everything off! lol

At level 89/90, there are plentiful options including the Longshadow Mushan & Longshadow Bulls in Townlong Steppes. Both have just 271k health & a better drop rate of around 50%. It's a fairly big area though so you may have to run around a bit.
Mushan Ribs farm area - Townlong Steppes
Another option at level 89/90 is to head to the SE corner of Dread Wastes again, this time just south of the Lake of Stars. Here you will find a plentiful supply of Bluehide Mushan with around a 60% droprate (per Wowhead). However, they also have 394k health so killing them will take a bit longer than the Townlong Steppes area but if you are level 89, just think of the XP gains!  The other plus point for this area is the proximity of the Crocolisks in the lake & the Chillwater Turtles to the north & east. Combination farming is great if you are farming for leather & want to sell the meats on the Auction House.
Mushan Ribs farm area - Dread Wastes
My personal preference here is the Townlong Steppes area - middling health level & middling drop rate. With my new found lust for killing on my Blood DK, I'm not skinning these though - a serious boo-boo for a goldmaker! I took my skinner over there & logged in & out to try to skin as much as possible - that slowed me down but at least I got plenty of leather too. Long term, I have to rethink who is going to be my Skinner. My DK has Jewelcrafting & Inscription - both profitable professions but more importantly, both have lots of items learned via research & dailies so I just cannot bring myself to drop either of those professions. My other option is to work out what the heck I'm doing wrong on my Paladin but for now, I'm just poodling along, enjoying the scenery in true Pandaren style!


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Mists of Pandaria Cooking Meats Series
Got all your Mushan Ribs but need to know where to farm the other Mists of Pandaria cooking meats? Check out my other posts in this series.



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Thursday, 25 October 2012

Mists of Pandaria - Where To Farm Raw Turtle Meat

Where to Farm Raw Turtle Meat in WoW
Next up in my Where To Farm series is Raw Turtle Meat. This is used by the Way of the Pot (13) & the Way of the Oven (50) so if you are leveling all the cooking Ways, you will need 63 of these at least. As with all the previous mobs, these Turtles can also be skinned so if you can, take your Skinner!

For level 89's leveling through the Dread Wastes, head towards the Lake of Stars in the far SE corner. Just north of the Lake, you will find Chillwater Turtles - 394k health but with a 60% drop rate & of course, lots of lovely leather for skinning. If you do have to wait for respawns, you can always pop into the lake itself & grab yourself some Raw Crocolisk Belly {link} too.

Raw Turtle Meat farm areas - Dread Wastes
If you need Raw Crab Meat, you could combine Turtle & Crab farming over in the Briny Muck area - neutral mobs with the same health & drop rate as the Chillwater Turtles. I'm always a big fan of multi-tasking if you can.

For lower level alts around 86/87, there is the well known area between Grassy Cline & Pools of Purity in Valley of the Four Winds. The spawn rate is crazy good here & the Wyrmhorn Turtles have only 110k health. It's a well known leather farming spot though so you may have to find your little corner & hope for a good respawn rate. The Gold Queen has some good tips on this spot - funny thing is, I just got my Paladin here the day she released her post! Talk about good timing! Also close by are the herds of Mushan but that's for tomorrow's post.

Argggh! Just found out Blizzard have reduced the numbers of turtles here. I popped over & had a little try out - there are definitely fewer turtles there to start with but they still have a healthy spawn rate & I still managed to get about 30 Raw Turtle Meat in 25 minutes. As far as I can tell, they are in smaller groups or dotted around the lake so it's just harder to pull a huge number of turtles all at once.

Raw Turtle Meat farm area - Valley of the Four Winds
Looking at my server on The Undermine Journal, it's fairly obvious that the initial rush to farm here has slowed down. There is still a fair amount of Raw Turtle Meat available on the Auction House but today for example, the price has shot up to almost 10g each as there are only 50 or so available. Just 3 days ago, there were only 70 or so available but the price was just under 2g each! I guess someone decided that price was too low maybe? (hehehe!)

For sheer speed of killing, I'd say go to the Valley spot to farm this meat, especially if you are a skinner. If you're not, then maybe find a friend who is & really go to town on these poor defenceless turtles - win/win for both of you - you get the meat & your friend gets the leather. You'll have to decide between you what to do with Motes of Harmony though.


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Mists of Pandaria Cooking Meats Series
Got all your Raw Turtle Meat but need to know where to farm the other Mists of Pandaria cooking meats? Check out my other posts in this series.



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Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Mists of Pandaria - Where to Farm Raw Crocolisk Belly

Where to Farm Raw Crocolisk Belly
So Day 3 and we're onto farming for Raw Crocolisk Belly - used in cooking for the Banquet of the Wok, you'll need 50 of these just to level your Way of the Wok cooking skill. I found 3 areas where you can farm these up & all come with built in leather too so take your skinner if you can! Just pop some good tunes on your player & go to town for a while!

For level 87 alts, head for the Cradle of Chi-Ji in Krasarang Wilds & just a bit further east you will find the Mortbreath Skulkers & Snappers. These crocs have 215k health and a Raw Crocolisk Belly drop rate of around 45% according to Wowhead. Along with the meat, if you are skinning, you are most likely to get Sha-Touched Leather but you could also pick up Prismatic Scale & of course the wonderfully gross Plump Intestines.
Raw Crocolisk Belly farm area - Krasarang Wilds
At level 89, you will probably be working your way through the Dread Wastes so head down to the far South-east corner to the Lake of Stars. Here you will find the Coldbite Crocolisks with 394k health but a much better drop rate of around 60%. If you are level 89, the XP gains will also be very useful on your journey to level 90.
Raw Crocolisk Belly farm area - Dread wastes
As with so many farming spots, being an area where a Daily quest happens brings both advantages & disadvantages. As a skinner, I will always prefer a Daily area to farm as there is almost always spare carcases to be tidied away too. It can make farming for meat a bit slower though so you have to decide for yourself if the extra leather is worth the extra time taken to gather the meat.

If you like to farm like this, then at level 90 there is a daily quest at Whitepetal Lake - a smallish circular lake in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. The crocs here are Stillwater Crocolisks with 394k health & a 60% drop rate for meat, just like the Coldbite Crocolisks mentioned above.

Both the Coldwater & the Stillwater Crocolisks have a slightly higher drop rate for Motes of Harmony too although with my farming luck, the difference is not really noticeable. These higher level mobs almost always drop Exotic Leather rather than Sha-Touched Leather which is great news for skinners.


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Mists of Pandaria Cooking Meats Series
Got all your Raw Crocolisk Belly but need to know where to farm the other Mists of Pandaria cooking meats? Check out my other posts in this series.



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Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Mists of Pandaria - Where to Farm Raw Crab Meat

Where to Farm Raw Crab Meat
Following on from yesterdays post about where to farm Raw Tiger Meat, today we have some nice places to farm Raw Crab Meat, also for the Way of The Grill. You will need 50 Raw Crab Meat to make Banquet of the Grill x5 so it's a bit more of a grind to get these.

I only found two good areas for skinning & killing crabs for their meat but by far the best one is in an area of the Dread Wastes called the Briny Muck. These are level 90 Rockshell Snapclaws or Muck Sifters with 295k health. I prefer the Muck Sifters as they are neutral & you can take your time to heal up if you need to without pulling aggro!

Raw Crab Meat farm areas - Dread Wastes

There are occasional patrol mobs but they are fairly easy to kill or avoid - whichever is your preference. I spent just 30 minutes here a few nights ago & got 45 Raw Crab Meats as well as all the leather. Now I'm pretty slow at farming (especially on my Paladin) to be honest, I've never quite got the hang of pulling lots of mobs but after a little persuasion, I've just added a Blood spec on my Death Knight & so far I'm loving the AoE farming potential. It's a shame she's not my skinner or I would be in total heaven!

For lower level farming, pretty much the whole coastal area of Krasarang Wilds has Viseclaw Fishers & Viseclaw Scuttlers - at 184k health & only level 86, these have a lower drop rate of Raw Crab Meat (about 35%) but add in skinning & XP gains and it's a perfect spot for your lower level alts to grind.
Raw Crab Meat farm area - Krasarang Wilds
Raw Crab Meat is currently the 2nd most expensive meat at the Auction House on my server, selling for about 8 gold each. At 45 in 30 minutes, it's not going to be my best gold-making farming grind unless I can improve my killing speed but for leveling my cooking & researching a blog post, it will do me for now.


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Mists of Pandaria Cooking Meats Series
Got all your Raw Crab Meat but need to know where to farm the other Mists of Pandaria cooking meats? Check out my other posts in this series.



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Monday, 22 October 2012

Mists of Pandaria - Where To Farm Raw Tiger Steak

WoW - Where to Farm Raw Tiger Steak - awww really?
If you are leveling your Cooking skill in Mists of Pandaria, you will need various fish, vegetables & meats, depending on which of the new 'Ways' you choose. The easiest method for vegetables is either to grow them yourself on your Farm or if the price is sensible, to buy them from the Auction House. There is an option to buy small quantities from Nam Ironpaw in Halfhill Market using your Ironpaw tokens but for now, those tokens are much more useful to buy the 100 Year Soy Sauce for the banquets you need to make to finish leveling any of the Way specialisations.

The fish required for cooking are also easily found - just level your fishing from appropriate Pools anywhere in Pandaria or, again, the Auction House if the price is acceptable to you.

Farming for the meats however, is not something that most people like to do. The supply on the Auction House isn't too bad right now, with so many people leveling toons, some meats are available naturally as drops from questing kills.

So where can you find Raw Tiger Steak & how much do you need? Well, The Way of the Grill is the only Way that needs them & then only 25 to get to the next recipe. Where is also a nice answer - lots of places! Any tiger in the zones of Pandaria have a chance to drop them although the higher the level, the higher the drop rate seems to be.

One thing I would suggest if you can - take your Skinner! Farming skinnable mobs for meat & not skinning is kind of silly really - you are leaving all that lovely saleable leather just lying around & if you don't skin it, you can bet your last dollar, someone else will! If you haven't leveled your Skinner to 90 yet, don't worry - there are plenty of tigers that are farmable by a reasonably geared level 85 & you will get lots of lovely XP too.

Raw Tiger Meat farming Areas - Jade Forest
For level 85 Horde players, there is an easy source almost as soon as you arrive to start questing - the Sha-Infested Tigers just outside Honeydew Village. They only have 135k health with a drop rate around 35%. As a quest mob, you may face some competition but the spawn rate isn't too bad & of course, you can skin any corpses that other people leave behind!

Also in Jade Forest for level 85's - there is a large area just south of Serpent's Heart filled with Golden Tigers - 158k health & a 35% drop rate so a little harder than the starter zone ones but available to both factions as are the Wild Stalkers & Wild Prowlers just NE of Pearlfin Village. This is also a questing area but the spawn rate is good enough to support multiple questers & farmers. For skinners, there are also Stoneskin Basilisks here too.

Raw Tiger Meat farming - Kun-Lai Summit

The level 87/88 Zouchin Tigers with 271k health are plentiful & have a better drop rate of around 50%. These can be found in the far North of Kun-Lai Summit area. With lower health than level 90 tigers, these may be the best farming option for speed - the slightly lower drop rate is counter-acted by the easier killing. It's also far enough off the main farming areas that you will probably have them all to yourself!

If you have made it to level 90 then the various dailies are now available to you - including the Order of the Cloud Serpent ones in the Windward isles to the NE of the Jade Forest. One of the dailies is to get Tiger Flanks from the Windward Tigers and as a side effect of course, you get Raw Tiger Steak too. This area is rather like the crocs in Tol Barad - a skinner's heaven - with all the toons doing their daily, there are lots of skinnable corpses just laying around for you.

Given the Asian theme across Pandaria, it's not surprising just how many areas have tigers (even though they are endangered in the real world). I found that I had almost enough Raw Tiger Steaks by the time I got to level 90 so I didn't have to go & farm these. But if you are not so lucky or you would like to farm leather & a profitable meat at the same time, then these areas should help you do that easily.

Have you found a little corner to farm Tigers? Would you share it or do you want to keep it to yourself!

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Mists of Pandaria Cooking Meats Series
Got all your Raw Tiger Meat but need to know where to farm the other Mists of Pandaria cooking meats? Check out my other posts in this series.



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Friday, 19 October 2012

New Way to Spy on your AH Competition

Spy on Your AH Competition - Ninja style!
I don't usually spy on my Auction House competitors but I do enjoy rummaging through the Armory, looking up random strangers' alts to see what transmog gear they have or to check out gear, reforges & enchants if they have impressed me in a dungeon or something. I was checking out one of my guildmates the other evening to make them some armour when I clicked on the Roster button.

Out of curiosity, I sorted the roster by Achievement points (I'm the Achieve Queen in my guild :P) to see who was catching me up & it suddenly dawned on me - with the new Account-wide achievement system, all my alts have approximately the same number of achievement points. There is some variation but not very much as you can see from the screenshot below.


So how can we use this to our advantage in the Auction House? Well, if you saw my Rogue posting on the Auction House then went & checked her out on the Armory, you wouldn't be too far off in guessing that Hunter, Death Knight & Warrior are also mine - same guild & same number of achievement points. The rank would also give you a clue normally but my Rogue has a special rank so that throws this example off a little!

Taking it a step further, I could also keep an eye on the GM Paladin & the Priest (perhaps even the lowbie Druid too) - just above & just below, especially as no-one else in guild is even close to these alts. By adding them to my friends list, I could see when the Rogue logs off & one of the others immediately logs in.

What this doesn't do is find the lowly level 1 bank alt characters that so many serious goldmakers use. Usually the bank alt is in a guild on it's own so this wouldn't work but if you were to check out the Guild roster of your competitors alt - you may find other alts in there that are higher than level 10 & therefore show up on the Armory. Again, add them to your friends list & watch for the log out/log in connection.

How does this help us? Well, one technique to deter competition in a market niche is to post the same items at different prices on different alts - it then looks like a busy, competitive market which may deter less experienced goldmakers from even entering it. Using this spying method, you would know when someone is doing just that & then you wouldn't be scared away from that market.

Do you keep an eye on your competitors? Have you found an easier way to check them out that you are willing to share?

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Leveling 85 to 90 - How Much Gold Can You Earn?

I've often wondered just how much gold can be earned just by leveling. You know, quest rewards, loot & vendor trash, not to mention all the good stuff you can pick up along the way. So this time through, I actually managed to keep track of it and thought I would share it with you.

I took my Paladin through to 90 purely by questing, no dungeons, no Auction House activities & no battlegrounds. You can see from the screenshot below, over 7 days, she earned almost 6000 gold. What the screenshot doesn't show is how much good stuff she picked up! Ignore the outgoings - I nabbed flying & the yak mounts as soon as I dinged!

addon used here is Auditor
Just after she hit 90 & I'd got out of combat, I did a quick check of her inventory - 390 Exotic Leather, 39 Sha-touched leather, 1 Magnificent Hide, 68 Prismatic Scales & 7 Sprits of Harmony. I did lose track of all the cooking materials she picked up as I did do a bit of cooking leveling & I sent about 22 green armour/weapons to my enchanter. I haven't disenchanted everything yet - I'm keeping some bits back for my alts but the prices of gear on the Auction House are so low during this initial rush that I may even end up buying stuff to disenchant!

All that leather meant that I managed to level my profession to 600 without having to spend any gold at all & I still have leather left over too. It's difficult to quantify just how much all this stuff is worth though but at a rough guess, I'd say about 1000 gold for the leather, 550 gold for the Prismatic Scales & if I use the average Golden Lotus price to value my Spirits of Harmony, then around 4000 gold for those.

That makes around 10,500 gold over the process of leveling just 5 levels - not too shabby at all!

I'm just about to start leveling my next alt so I'll try to keep better records this time! I don't cook on most of my alts so it will be easier to keep track on those materials. I've not decided which alt is next though - my heart says go with DK or Hunter as they are both fairly well geared & shouldn't be too difficult. My brain says if I don't level my rogue or priest soon, it will take me 2 years to move them along & my inner goblin says 'get those damn professions leveled as cheaply as possible' which means probably my recently dinged 85 Warrior miner/blacksmith but she's another melee. oh well, I shall ponder it a while longer & let you know next time.

Happy Goldmaking peeps

Monday, 15 October 2012

Mists of Pandaria Level 90 - What To Do Next?

Level 90 - So What's Next?
After a week of almost nothing but questing, I finally made it to level 90 on my first character - my beloved Retribution Paladin. I contemplated being a ruthless goldmaker & leveling a different alt purely for goldmaking reasons but I just couldn't do it! My darling girl got left way behind during Cataclysm because I just could not get the hang of the Holy Power changes. Now I seem to have just magically managed it & I'm feeling much better about that, as you can imagine!

So where does she go from here? I've been reading my Twitter feed & numerous blog posts for the last few weeks but without actually being there or doing that stuff, it's difficult to make sense of it all. Some information has stuck but not enough to make an informed decision as to my next steps. Talk about information overload & too much choice!

If you're a regular reader, you'll know I don't raid (well, not since ICC anyway, long story) & I didn't do many dungeons during Cataclysm either. I really do want to do more in game than just making gold this expansion though so yes, I will be doing dailies for gear reputation grinds. However, I also need to look at the various factions for goldmaking stuffs and of course, there's lots of lovely new mounts to aim for as well.

For this post, I'm going to ignore the gearing up possibilities & just look at professions. There are too many gear options for me to cover & the chances are, you'll need class/spec specific advice anyway which I certainly can't do!

Leatherworking & Tailoring

The Golden Lotus faction has patterns at Honored level purchased with gold. With over 50 dailies available (depending on progress), it shouldn't take too long to get to just honored level. There are also shoulder & chest armor at Revered & 3 new Crane mounts at Exalted. Hopefully you unlocked the Vale of Eternal Blossoms whilst you were leveling so you just pick up the daily quests from their NPC's in your faction city there.

The Leatherworking patterns are the leg armors & epic armor (ilvl 476) for chest & gloves - all the usual combinations - Mail (agility & intellect types) & of course, Leather (intellect & agility types).

The Tailoring patterns are the spellthreads & epic armor (ilvl 476) for chest & gloves too - intellect or intellect & spirit combos.

Blacksmithing

The Klaxxi is the faction for all your Blacksmithing needs - as with the Golden Lotus above, these patterns are available at Honored reputation level. As well as the epic chest & gloves patterns (ilvl 476) there are also weapons patterns but these are rare quality ones with ilvl 463. There is also the usual enhancements of belt buckles, shield spikes & weapon chains available.

Gearwise, there are epic legs & waist items for all classes at Revered (also ilvl 476) & my favorite is the Amber Scorpion mount available at Exalted :) Rare quality weapons are also available at Exalted, ilvl 463 so if you can make the rare quality weapons from patterns available at Honored, you should find a market for these as people aren't going to be raising their reputations with all factions as once.

Jewelcrafting

The Order of the Cloud Serpent is the faction that teaches you to fly on the cloud serpent mounts (need Exalted though) but it also has the patterns for the Jewelcrafting Panther mounts - 2 mount patterns (Jade & Sunstone) at Honored, 2 mount patterns (Ruby & Sapphire) at Revered & lastly, the Onyx Panther at Exalted.

Enchanting

The Shado-Pan faction has the 3 weapon enchants for you at Revered & the August Celestials have the strength, agility & intellect bracer enchants, also at Revered. It seems a bit of a pain to have to level both factions to Revered to get at the recipes but for me, the bonus is the 2 Cloud Serpent mounts available from the August Celestials at Exalted & the 3 Riding Tigers available from the Shado-Pan also at Exalted.

Other Professions

Lucky you! You don't have to grind any specific factions to get any patterns. Alchemy & Inscription are 'discovery' based so as you create potions or do your daily research, you gain new patterns at the highest levels. Engineers get to learn everything from their trainers, as small compensation for how complicated some of the items are to craft I guess :P

Next Steps for my Paladin

My Paladin is a skinner/leatherworker & I have saved all my leather whilst leveling. So my first faction to start with will be The Golden Lotus, a faction that was recommended to be first for all classes/crafters anyway due to the fact that you need Revered with them to open the Shado-Pan & August Celestials dailies.

Lissana over at Restokin.com has a great guide post to all this faction related stuff too, especially if you are gearing up as well as leveling your professions.

I haven't mentioned the Tillers here because although having your own farm will be very useful & make a fair bit of gold, I just haven't got my head around it yet & there are loads of other Tiller guides out there already! I'm using Els' Angling guide to the Tillers & farm related stuff but there's also a wealth of detail in The Godmother's posts about her farming adventures, well worth a read if you're looking for the nitty gritty stuff.

I hope this helps - I know I panicked when I saw all those quest givers suddenly appear on my map last night! I ignored them & went to get my flying training so I could explore those last few places for the achievement & then I sat down & fished for a while!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Mists of Pandaria - The Plan & The Results (So Far)

Mists of Pandaria - The Plan & The Results

Cold's Gold Blogging Carnival this month has a nice retrospective flavour after all the frantic preparations before Mists of Pandaria was launched
Pick A Market Or A Strategy That You Planned To Focus On For The MoP Launch. What Were Your Results?

I was late to the Mists of Pandaria party as I was away from home on launch day so I've only been playing for a week now. I knew being a week behind was going to mess up any big plans & with moving house & packing for my trip, my pre-launch to-do list never really stood a chance! Having said that though, I did have fairly big expectations of the Glyph market on 2 different servers.

Original Plan

Like many Scribes, I stockpiled some decent stacks of all the various inks although nowhere near the quantities that some bloggers were talking about! I didn't precraft glyphs, that's never been how I work but when I saw how low the prices were dropping, I did grab some of the very cheapest ones from the Auction House.

On my main EU account, I kept to my normal method, using Trade Skill Master addon (TSM) to identify which glyphs were selling at the highest prices & I only crafted glyphs worth over 250 gold. My banker there also picked up a few hundred cheap glyphs, all at 20 gold each or less.

On my US account, things are slightly different. My main there had only just maxed her Inscription & is still learning the glyphs from the daily researches. I used the same method, crafting the highest priced glyphs but I had a fairly large stock of glyphs crafted when leveling. I also picked up cheap glyphs from the Auction House.

Also on my US account, I have a baby Alliance banker & like the Auction House Addict that I am, I somehow can't resist playing that Auction House too. She has no professions so she just picked up cheap glyphs when the prices were below 15 gold each.

How It Turned Out

So how did it all work out? Well, the Kobolds (Cold's nickname for the huge undercutters has stuck with me!) have been out in force on all 3 Auction Houses, driving prices down below 25 gold for probably half of all the glyphs available. I'm seeing good glyphs listed at anywhere from 200-500 gold & then someone comes along & lists 5 at 24 gold & not only that, they are cancelling & relisting as often as the main players. If I sell 3 or 4 higher priced glyphs on my main account in a day, that is now a good day.

On my US account, both factions have the same problem but my Horde gilrlie is suffering from not only competing with the Kobolds but also with Cold himself! When I picked my profession, I forgot to ask him which was his main one so I could avoid having to compete! It doesn't really matter though as I'm putting that account on hold whilst I focus on all the lovely new stuff in Pandaria on my mains.

Nice Surprises

One nice surprise in this brave new world of Pandarian auctioning has been the cooking materials - with 6 x 85's available & only leveling one of them, I have been able to get my farms started & producing a wide variety of the cooking ingredients which are selling for anything between 40 gold to 9 gold each!

Another pleasant surprise was the ease of leveling 2 Alchemists to max purely via Auction House herbs - not only was it fairly cheap but I seem to be on a lucky streak with my Living Steel transmutes - I've had a proc almost every day so far!

And lastly but not gold related, I'm surprised by how much I like the quest reward armour! My Paladin is my first love & although I was torn between her & my Hunter for first to 90, I just had to stick with my Pally. The changes to Holy Power seem to have improved the rotation for me at least ( I was struggling all through Cataclysm) & she just made level 87 late last night.

Going Forwards

Right now, I'm not sure quite where I'm heading as far as the Auction House is concerned. I'm still playing catch up, trying to make sense of the huge variety of options Blizzard have provided for us this time around. I'm going to get all my girls to 90 at some point but I'm not going to rush. I'm determined to actually do some dungeons this time around too & maybe even attempt to raid a bit.

I will still be making gold though, it's almost impossible not too whilst leveling, especially on 6 toons. I'll level my professions as quickly as I can, not only for the Guild achievement but also so that I can begin to get my head around them & perhaps find a little corner to call my own.

Good Luck out there, my fellow gold makers. It's a brave new world to conquer!

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Leveling Zen Master Alchemy - My Way & The Right Way

Leveling Zen Master Alchemy
I currently have 2 Alchemists - both Transmute Masters. One is my rarely played Rogue & the other is my main candidate for leveling to 90 first but whilst I'm still faffing with banks, auctions & getting to grips with all things Pandaren, I thought I'd get these two started with their farms at least.

My Leveling Method

In my usual manner, I checked the Auction House for pandaren herb prices & was pleasantly surprised by how cheap the Green Tea Leaf was, so I grabbed 18 stacks for around 490g (just 25g a stack!). I knew they were the starter herb for Alchemy & of course my main money making profession of Inscription uses them too. In doing so, I may have got slightly sidetracked from my plan to get my farm started & I started leveling my alchemy.

I dived straight in & learnt the Zen Master level & the 2 trainer taught recipes - Master Healing Potion & Master Mana Potion. Almost 2 stacks of healing potions later, I'd picked up about 10 new 'discoveries' & off I went, back to the Auction House to price up the next leveling potion. Within about 1 hour, I was at skill level 590 and had picked up a nice bunch of new recipes, including Transmute: Living Steel - yay!!!

Back to the Auction House to price up the Trillium Bar - Eeeek! no way was I paying those prices so I took my little Rogue out to start her farm. With that done, I logged into my Hunter & did exactly the same thing again! I still had a load of Green Tea Leaf left from earlier so that reduced my costs this time round. As I neared 590 skill points, the discovery for Transmute:Trillium popped up - phew! That was lucky otherwise both my girls would have been stuck until Trillium prices dropped or my Miner actually got out of Stormwind!

Again I got lucky - someone had listed Ghost Iron Bar for just 262 gold a stack or 131 gold per Trillium transmute so of course, I snagged as much as possible, having 2 alchemists waiting for it now. Just 5 transmutes later, I'd maxed my skills for my Hunter & on the very last transmute, the discovery for Living Steel popped up.

Now I know there are some folk out there who are going to hate me but my very first Transmute:Living Steel proc'ced for me -  woop woop! 2 Living Steel to sell straight away. To make you hate me even more, I've now done 3 days of Living Steel transmutes & have had a proc every day - giving me 9 Living Steels out of 6 cooldowns!

Overall, I spent 3090 gold on herbs & ghost iron bars to level both alchemists to 600. Out of the potions, elixirs & transmutes I made, I have sold 3524 gold's worth so I am already back in profit & have 7 Living Steels still to sell as well as enough Healing potions to keep my alts alive whilst they level through The Jade Forest. What I don't have yet is all the recipes so once my herbalist starts to level, I will go back & make more potions to complete the discovery process on both alts.

How I Should Have Leveled!

As I sat down to write this post, I realised I hadn't noted down everything I had done, so off I went to Kaliope's Crafting blog to look for some of the details I'd missed. What a slap head moment that was! One of the very first points she made in her Alchemy summary was

'don't learn Zen Master Alchemy straight away, just the healing & mana potion recipes'

Basically, you need to make a whole bunch of the Master Healing Potions to start learning the discoveries. Once you have made about 5 potions without a discovery, you have probably learnt all the discoveries at that level and THEN you can learn Zen Master Alchemy & continue making Master Healing Potions until the recipe goes grey. In this way, you will maximise the number of discoveries you make with the cheapest & easiest potion, giving you a wider selection of recipes to make for the rest of your leveling process.

So that's my Oops! of the week so far. I'm off to read the rest of Kaliope's profession summaries - I do not want to find a similar oops on any of my other professions, that's for sure :)

Image credit © Horia Varlan under Creative Commons licence

Friday, 5 October 2012

Adventuring Supplies - No Pandaren Level 85 Green Armour Market This Time?

Adventuring Supplies - No Pandaren Level 85 Green Armour Market This Time?
I finally managed to get my EU account upgraded to the new expansion Mists of Pandaria but have spent the last 2 days just trying to get my head around all the possibilities. Have 6 possible candidates for leveling first and all the professions to level has resulted in 2 days of Auction House chaos & profession confusion for me but I think I'm getting there!

I did manage to level both my Alchemists to 600 very easily (post coming up on that soon) & I took both of them to Halfhill to get their farms started. Whilst travelling there, I bumped into Claretta, an Adventuring Supplies trader sitting at Pang's Stead in the Valley of Four Winds.

Now one of the big markets during Cataclysm has been the level 77-80 green (uncommon) quality armour & weapons markets. If you were asleep or AFK, these were Cataclysm items useable by level 77 characters & up, with the obvious benefit of much, much better stats than the level 77-80 Wrath gear.

There has been some talk on Twitter about whether this 77-80 market will survive & I have to say, judging by my sales over the last week or two, yes - I think this market will survive! As you can see from my screen shot below, I have been buying Cataclysm 77-80 level gear for less than 50 gold each & reselling them quite successfully at 199 gold each. This screenshot is from my US account only but I have had similar success on my EU account although by using the Remote Auction House, none of my sales statistics were recorded - boo!


So back to Claretta & her fellow Adventuring Supplies traders - she sells a full set of item level 372 green quality armour for very reasonable prices. My US Hunter only dinged 85 a few days before Mists of Pandaria was released & as I don't usually do many dungeons, my poor hunter was not looking forward to the initial struggle to quest in the new zones, being dressed almost totally in Cataclysm quest rewards green armour!

As you can see from the screenshot below, the stats on these items are really quite good - especially when compared to many of the Cataclysm items my girlie was wearing. I had already picked up 3 or 4 Pandaren quest reward items but I was still struggling a little so I decided it was worth 150 gold or so to replace the worst 3 items.


With these wandering traders so easily available & with the Auction House flooded with Mists of Pandaria green quality items for very low prices, I have to wonder if an equivalent to the 77-80 market will be able to thrive during this expansion. I know many Enchanters are currently snapping up many of the lowest priced greens on the Auction House to disenchant but when the leveling buzz dies down a bit & everything starts to even out, these travelling traders will provide an alternative to the Auction House for buyers.

I know I won't be buying gear for my fresh 85 from the auction house unless the prices are really cheap. I would guess that buying cheap Mists gear & relisting them for much higher prices will find a small market - after all, there will always be players unaware of the travelling traders or those who simply want their gear straightaway who will purchase the higher priced armour but I don't think it will be as big a market as the recent 77-80 greens one. Only time will tell though - I'm not usually prone to 'forecasting' such things so we'll just have to wait & see how it goes.

What do you think? In my confusion over all the stuff to do in Mists, have I missed a point here? Let me know in comments if you want to put me straight :)

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Mists of Panderia - Where Shall I Start?

Mists of Panderia - Where Shall I Start?
So I finally got home after my travels & one of the first things I did (besides collapse into bed & sleep for 5 hours!) was upgrade my EU account to Mists of Panderia. I've been following various tweets over the last week about all the different things people are doing & I have to try to decide where the heck to start my Pandaren adventure!

I don't really want to rush any alts to 90 although I do want to get them all there in the next month or so and I also want to max my professions. From Twitter, I'm getting the impression that a farm is a must have for all my 85's but as yet, I have no idea how to get the the Farmer NPC guy!

I have had a little play with pet battles on my US account and also raised a baby Pandaren Monk to level 10 but gold making on that account is unimportant to me so I'm going to leave that out of my musings. I will probably poodle my US Hunter along very late at night when my US friends are around though.

So what do I have in my stable of alts & which order should I tackle stuff?

  1. Paladin - Retribution, Leatherworker & Skinner. also my Achievement Queen but that's not so important now. Gear wise she's kind of middling. I never got to grips with the Holy Power system so she's just been gathering dust although she is my first love & I feel the irrational urge to level her first & fast too.
  2. Death Knight - Frost, Jewelcrafting & Inscription - my main melee DPS girlie, she's also been my main gold maker with her professions. I know there are kobolds in the Glyph market now though so I'm not sure if I want to keep fighting that battle.
  3. Priest - shadow/holy, Enchanting & Tailoring. I'm honestly not very good on my priest - I didn't start healing until the very end of Wrath & never had the confidence to face many Cataclysm dungeons with her. Her gear is ok but I think she will struggle a bit in Panderia.
  4. Rogue - Combat, Herbing & Alchemy - geared to mid Cata PvP level, she will definitely struggle in Panderia. I love my lil gnome rogue but I'm really really bad at all the moving around & jumping type stuff so she's never really had a chance!
  5. Hunter - Marksman, 2nd Alchemist & 2nd Tailor, this girlie is my favourite for a bit of PvP & some dungeons too. I seem to be able to pull some ok DPS numbers out of her although still not spectacular. If I do dungeons in Mists, I'm pretty sure she will be my 1st choice but her professions are only basic - no extra plans/recipes etc, just the basics to get at the additional cooldowns in Cataclysm.
  6. Warrior - Arms, Mining & Blacksmithing - my newest level 85, she just dinged the week before Mists of Panderia arrived so her gear is still end leveling greens & a few blues. She will probably struggle in Panderia too but although it took me over a year to finally get her maxed, I did quite enjoy it in the end.
My initial thoughts were to take my gatherers out first - get those farmed items onto the Auction House & capitalise on the early rush but I'm already seeing prices dropping dramatically & stabilising at fairly reasonable prices too so that blows that idea out of the water.

Next thought was to take my Paladin out first - (instinctive really, she is my fav!) her Leatherworking would be ideal with all the new monks that suddenly sprung into existance! But then I remembered I dropped skinning last summer & am only half levelled on that now - do I spend an afternoon getting that to Pandaren level?

I'm hearing that professions are fairly easy to level now so I'm also wondering, shall I just throw some gold at it & get all my professions leveled via the Auction House & just play which alt I want to? My old friend Khalior is writing again - 2 great posts to get me thinking this week - a Grab Bag of Random Tips & More Random Tips for Panderia

But then there's the whole Spirit of Harmony being Bind on Pickup thing! Most of my girls will need them at some point. Faid literally just posted about SoH & determining their value whilst I'm writing this & that's given me a whole new lot of stuff to think about!

Phat over at Phat Lewt's Gold Blog has also been analysing this kind of stuff too - his post Top 5 professions to Level ASAP makes some really good points & based on his thoughts, I could happily level my hunter first (Alchemist/Tailor). Even though she doesn't have extra stuff from earlier expansions, I'm not sure that matters too much right now - my other Alchemist & Tailor will get leveled soon enough to fill any gaps there.

And lastly, just now, Jim from Power Word:Gold has just published a new post 'How To Eat An Elephant' - apart from making me smile at the title, he also makes some very good points that are perfectly timed for me as I write this post! It's good to know that as I sit here, frantically trying to work out how to catch up for missing the first week & worrying that I'm falling behind, there are others out there feeling exactly the same sense of being overwhelmed by all the possibilities Mists of Pandaria & Blizzard have brought to us. I don't think I'll be complaining about boredom anytime soon, that's for sure!

Image © Alex Bellink under Creative Commons License