Why yes, I'm working on mats for a chopper. Does it show?
The elimination of the wait for older mats when a new expac is released, such as Titansteel (and Felsteel for you older BC types) has been a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing because you can farm all you want to collect the mats needed to create Titansteel without having to wait a day/week/what-have-you, but it's a curse because everyone else is doing that too. The entire cycle is compressed, and when you add the gold farmers to the list there can be days when you could spent almost all of your WoW time cruising Northrend and not find a single Titanium node.
Back in Wrath, I used to farm Titanium and Saronite for the gems, and in the wee hours on a PvP server there would be three of us (quite literally) fighting it out for the nodes. When I switched Q over to a PvE server, that number fluctuated between 3-5 people, but it wasn't too difficult to get your share of the ore and assorted goodies. However, in late Cata, it seems that there's a toon parked over every spawning point for Titanium or several cruising Icecrown or Sholazar for all of the spare Saronite. The number of toons farming ore has more than doubled, and I've spent 10 minutes or more hunting around before I found a lonely hunk of Saronite that wasn't being mined at that very moment.
Strangely enough, this doesn't translate into an overabundance of gold farming in the BC zones. Khorium and Eternium are still easily mined, while the BC herbs have been left alone as well. (My Worgen Lock finally made it to Outland, so he's ready to get some clown gear to match up better in BGs.) I guess you could chalk it up to not a lot of demand out there for the BC stuff, but if you read the blogs touting transmog you'd think otherwise.
Perhaps what really attracts the gold farmers is the near 5 digit price tag that a chopper or mechano-hog will fetch on the AH.*
Since I've been Farmer Bob the past couple of weeks, instead of running BGs I've queued up for a few normal 5-mans instead. I figure that the time it takes for the queue to pop is better spent cruising for mining nodes than the extremely short entry times for BGs.
I still don't know what the Heroic queues are like, but the random normals are clocking in at a half an hour. Based on that, I've been reluctant to specifically queue up for those normals I haven't done on Tom yet, mainly Stonecore and Throne of the Tides. It's not like I've not seen Stonecore before --it always seemed to proc whenever I queued up on Neve-- but it would be nice to actually mark that as finished on a Ret Pally. And Throne of the Tides... Well, I think I've seen that pop once all of Cata.
Naga just aren't as popular as they were in BC, I guess.
I didn't quite notice this until the past couple of weeks, but leveling via BGs in WoW is cyclic.
When you start out at the bottom of the level range for a BG, you're just glorified fodder. (Clothies, such as Priests and Locks, are even more so.) It can be painful to drag yourself up to that next level, and you get used to dying a lot. Once you make that level, however, then path to level after gets easier. And the next one, even more so, until you just kind of cruise out of one level range into another.
Then the cycle starts over again.
This cycle is a lot like leveling via questing in Age of Conan.
There's a pretty big dropoff in XP when you kill a mob two (or even one) level beneath yours in AoC, even more than WoW. What that means is when you're questing in a zone and you level up to where the mobs close to you are 2 levels below you, your XP intake drops precipitously, and your leveling slows to a crawl. You then have to push yourself to another portion of the zone where you match up better with the mobs. The thing is, AoC orients those mobs so that you have to be really precise about your pulls so that you don't end up with 3 or more mobs on you at once.
Oh, and did I mention they spawn more frequently than WoW? If you enter a higher level zone, you'll not only have to fight your way in, but also fight your way out.
I'm sure this was done to "encourage" grouping, but for someone who plays at odd hours, that means that the leveling process operates in spurts: you gain a level or two fast, then you have to go to a higher level area where your progress slows to a crawl. Just like leveling via BGs in WoW.
I don't often talk about my kids' MMO playing, but I figured I had to share this little tidbit:
My oldest managed to get her L22 Elf Hunter to Rivendell last week.
The kids had tried to get their toons to Rivendell before --they play F2P, so they had to run there-- but they always would get zapped by the high level mobs once they got past Weathertop. So it was no small effort that she managed to zip through that last zone to reach the Last Homely House East of the Sea.
She then proceeded to start geeking out.
"OMG!! There's Frodo! And there's Gandalf! And Bilbo!! And look: there's Merry and Sam and Pippin!!! This is just so cool!!!"
I don't think she stopped grinning the rest of that evening.
*The Battered Hilt still shows no sign of dropping in value, probably more due to transmog and desire to see the questline than anything else. The thing is, you can clear most of the mobs in the entry area of Heroic Forge of Saron without that much trouble, so why not just do that instead until you get a drop? You'll even get a nice supply of Frostweave to sell on top of it.
EtA: Have I mentioned that I disklike trackpads that are too sensitive? They make "whenever I" change into "when I ever". Sheesh.