Winter’s Veil

So here we are, the lights in the pumpkins have gone out. The headless Horseman has gone back to sleep for another season, the cackles of his laughter are a fading memory.The air is getting crisper, the frost is starting to make it’s early morning appearances. Fall is here, at least where I live.  Just like the real world it’s time to start thinking about Winters Veil.
Yes, I know, I really should wait for after Pilgrims Bounty before I post this, but I figured all the stores are getting decorated already. I might as well go ahead and write this up for those that (like me) are trying for the Merrymaker title.

Particularly those looking towards that Violet Proto Drake from What a Long Strange Trip it’s Been.

For starters I suppose I’ll just list the achievements involved in the holiday. As you read you’ll see why I am posting so early. There are a few things you should have in order before hand, and some money-making opportunities for the prepared.

If you plan to do your farming in advance you will need the following to complete the achievements:

  • 6 Small Eggs
  • 4 Bolts of Runecloth
  • 2 Bolts of Woolen Cloth
  • 1 Copper Bar
  • 4 Rugged Leather
  • Cooking skill to 325
  • Quests completed to open the “Bomb them again” daily with Ogr’ila.
  • Everything else can be bought off of vendors in your capitol city.
  • If you plan to do the Tailoring or Leatherworking portions yourself the skill required if 250.

Now on to the meat of the post.

The Merrymaker meta-achievment simply requires the 12 other achievements to be completed. It rewards the title “Merrymaker” as well as counting as one of the eight achievements needed for What a Long Strange Trip it’s Been.

On Metzen! Save Metzen the Reindeer.

The quest for this comes from Kaymard Copperpinch just outside of the Auction House in Orgrimmar, or Wulmort Jinglepocket (coincidentally) just outside the bank in Ironforge.

You’ll receive a ransom letter about Metzen the reindeer and the two locations you can find him.

One will be in Tanaris over in Lost Rigger Cove at about 68. 41. The other location will be in Searing Gorge at 70. 34. In both locations he will have four guards ranging in level from 44-47. If you’re at a low-level you may want to bring friends to help. All you need to do is talk to Metzen and use the reindeer dust on him to complete the quest.

Scrooge Throw a snowball at Cairne Bloodhoof during the Feast of Winter Veil. OR Throw a snowball at King Magni Bronzebeard during the Feast of Winter Veil.

Fortunately snowballs are easy to come by this time of year. On a side note, a bank alt full of snowballs will make you a killing in mid summer. I bought my first ever ground mount that way.

During the holiday they can be purchased from your friendly neighborhood Smokeywood Pastures vendors. Engineers that were lucky enough to get the pattern can craft a Snowmaster 9000, which can turn water into snowballs. Last but not least, for the truly cheap amongst us (like me) you can gather free snowballs from the ground in Alterac Mountains. I figure I will have to spend some time looking for The Abominable Greench over in Alterac anyhow, might as well save money.

Note: Remember to pick up the quest “The Reason for the Season” from your Smokywood Pasture friends, which will lead you to talk to Cairne or Bronzebeard anyway. Don’t be like me and forget.

‘Tis the Season During the Feast of Winter Veil, wear three pieces of winter clothing and eat Graccu’s Mince Meat Fruitcake.

This is probably going to be the most annoying to finish, or at least the most expensive. The three pieces of winter clothing are:

  • Red Winter Hat / Green Winter Hat: These drop from bosses in some regular (or heroic) WotLK instances. The Red one is available from Grand Magus Telestra in The Nexus, and the Green one is available from Mage-Lord Urom in The Occulus. I plan to do the Nexxus so the hat will match my other stuff.
  • Red Winter Clothes (Alliance) / Green Winter Clothes (Horde): Tailoring 250.  The pattern is sold by the Smokywood Pastures vendors in Orgrimmar or Ironforge. Then again you will sometimes receive one in the mail after completing the Metzen or Greench quests. Makes sense to wait until after you’ve done those. If you get lucky so you can save yourself a few coins. Also I recommend farming the mats now rather than waiting to buy them in the Auction House. People like me will be making a nice profit from those who waited.
  • Mats for the clothes are Bolt of Runecloth x 4, Bolt of Woolen Cloth x 1, Red Dye x 2, Rune Thread x 1.
  • Winter Boots : Leatherworking 250. Same as the clothes. These can be bought or received in the mail after doing the quests, Farm the mats now, yadda, yadda, save money.
  • Mats for the boots are Copper Bar x 1, Bolt of Woolen Cloth x 1, Rugged Leather x 4, Rune Thread x 1.

Simply Abominable Complete the quest to retrieve the stolen Smokywood Pastures’  treats and receive a Smokywood Pastures’ Thank You.

You can pick up the quest for this from Kaymard Copperpinch over by the bank in Orgrimmar, or Wulmort Jinglepocket just outside the bank in Ironforge. Yes, the same ones you got “On Metzen!” from.

This will send you to Alterac Mountains  to locate a snowman 35. 72. He’ll give you a quest to kill The Abominable Greench, who spawns every couple minutes nearby. Unfortunately, the area will likely be heavily camped, especially early on in the season. Here are a few ideas to make your life easier.

  • Go early in the morning or late at night, possibly even putting this one off for a few days till the crowds die down. I plan to do this one last.
  • He has three spawn points: 30. 52, 29. 61, and 40. 73. Pick the one with less people camping him. He spawns randomly at any of the three, so just stick it out.
  • If your there with friends group up and all camp the same spawn point, your odds get much better.
  • Make a macro, and keybind to something handy. I use “x”, your mileage may vary. Here is the one I used, just add in your instant cast tagging shot. I use Arcane Shot on the Hunter, Shadow Word Pain on the Priest, and plan to use Death Grip (yank and spank) on my Death Knight. 

/tar The Abominable Greench
/cast [exists] WhateverYourInstantCastIs

Bros. Before Ho Ho Ho’s Use Mistletoe on the Horde “Brothers” during the Feast of Winter Veil. OR Use Mistletoe on the Alliance “Brothers” during the Feast of Winter Veil.

To get mistletoe, you need to emote a /kiss at the Winter Revelers inside any of the inns in the major cities. Like trick-or-treating you can only do this hourly. They will randomly give you some Mistletoe, a Handful of Snowflakes (needed for the achievement Let it Snow) or Fresh Holly (can be used in the achievement Fa-la-la-la-Ogri’la).

 This achievement is a bit different depending on faction. The Horde are a bit better off if you are already 77 or higher, where the Alliance have more running around to do.

Horde: There are 3 brothers to find. 

Since the only way to get to the airship is by using your flying mount I hope you are 77 or better with Cold Weather Flying. Well, I suppose you could be doing this on an alt and purchase the tome of cold weather flight for them, or even getting a summons from a friendly Warlock. Either way, you have to find a way up there.

Alliance: Here you get lucky, while there are a few more people to visit getting to them is way easier, especially for lower level players.

He Knows If You’ve Been Naughty Open one of the presents underneath the Winter Veil tree once they are available.

Just like my house as a kid you don’t get to open the presents until the morning of December 25th. On the plus side they will be there until the end of the holiday on January 2nd. For those of you (like me) who may not log in on Christmas day you can still get this later. Rumor has it that opening a present from a previous year will work, however I can’t test it since I opened mine all last year 🙂

With a Little Helper from My Friends Earn 50 honorable kills as a Little Helper from the Winter Wondervolt machine.

The Winter Wondervolt machines are located outside of Ogrimmar and Ironforge, with a nicely placed one in the center of Dalaran. Very similar to the G.N.E.R.D. rage achievment from Hallows End with one notable exception. One that makes it a true Pita.

The costume doesn’t persist through death.

Oh, and I feel sorry for Druids since it counts as a costume and is dispelled when you shape shift. I suppose 50 honorable kills isn’t too annoying, especially since we have two weeks to do it. Myself, I plan to go heal me a few AV runs, I need the honor anyhow.

Fa-la-la-la-Ogri’la Complete the Bomb Them Again! quest while mounted on a flying reindeer during the Feast of Winter Veil.

Note: Kaelynn  pointed out that you can now start the quest chain at the quest “The Crystals” and skip a lot of the intro quests. I have not confirmed this (since I already did all the pre-quests), but I take her word for it.

If you have done the Bomb Them Again! quest for the Ogri’la dailies you are pretty much set. Otherwise you will need to do a series of quests to open up the dailies. Unfortunately that puts a lot of new players (or newly leveled alts) in a place where they have to go back and work on rep with what amounts to a dead faction. If you haven’t done those pre-Ogri’la quests they start with Mog’dorg the Wizened. There is also a good guide to the questline in the comments for the Bomb Them Again! quest.

Also note that the group quests are now soloable, at least by a level 80.

Once you are done with that you need to get your hands on some Holly (Preserved or Fresh works). This can be a reward for blowing kisses or from the quest to save Metzen the Reindeer. They can also be bought can be bought from other players through the Auction House since they also are not Bind on Pickup. Doubtless someone will be selling their extra (I know I will).

Note: Once again Druids take it in the shorts. You will have to be on a real flying mount to turn this in. One good thing though, you don’t have to be on a reindeer when you are doing the quest, only when you turn in. So save that Holly in case you get dismounted, just use it right before turn in.

Crashin’ & Thrashin’ Gain 25 crashes with your Crashin’ Thrashin’ Racer during the Feast of Winter Veil. 

Note: As of 2009 this is no longer required for the meta achievment.

Christmas morning everyone should have one of these sitting under the tree. Um, use it until it crashes 25 times. Not quite as simple as waking up in the morning, but close.

Let It Snow During the Feast of Winter Veil, use a Handful of Snowflakes on each of the race/class combinations listed below.

  • Orc Death Knight
  • Tauren Shaman
  • Undead Rogue
  • Gnome Mage
  • Blood Elf warlock
  • Human Warrior
  • Night Elf Druid
  • Troll Hunter
  • Draenei Priest
  • Dwarf Paladin

You can get Handfuls of Snowflakes by doing a /kiss to a Winter Reveler in any major inn. There is a chance at getting Mistletoe or Fresh Holly as well, which will be useful anyway. It feels oddly like trick-or-treating again in that you can do this only once an hour. I plan to hit the inn every time I go past, just to make sure I have enough.

I personally plan to do this one the same way I did the Pumpkin on the head one from Hallows Eve. I will sit outside the bank in Dalaran, possibly running around town a bit. I suppose you could do this in a battleground or out in the world as well, but I am entirely too lazy for that.

The Winter Veil Gourmet During the Feast of Winter Veil, use your culinary expertise to produce a Gingerbread Cookie, Egg Nog and Hot Apple Cider.

Huzzah! another grind (well, maybe). This achievement requires you to have a cooking skill of at least 325.  The three recipes are available quite easily by either by purchasing them from the Smokywood vendors or as a random quest reward in the mail after whackin’ the Greench. I have also seen these recipes listed for fairly high prices in the Auction House, but that’s not really necessary.

Of all the ingredients you need the only one that you can’t buy right in your home city is the Small Eggs. Depending on where you are and what faction and level you are, check out the mobs that drop there Here.

The other option (and one I would frown upon) would be to buy them on the Auction House. There are people out there that will, so people like me will list them at hugely inflated prices during the holiday. I don’t do it because I am evil, I do it because people are willing to pay it.

As a side note you can’t get the achievement by simply having these items nor by eating/drinking them. You need to actually craft them! There are those out there who will list the cookies, cider, and egg nogg in the Auction House as well, hoping to get money from those who don’t read the tooltip carefully enough. That’s one I won’t do.

If you would also like to finish the quest Treats for Greatfather Winter  you will need a total of 6 small eggs.

A Frosty Shake During the Feast of Winter Veil, use your Winter Veil Disguise kit to become a snowman and then dance with another snowman in Dalaran.

You should  have received The Winter Veil Disguise Kit is a reward from completing the Stolen Treats quest. Remember, the one  to kill the Abominable Greench? It’s actually not a quest reward, but you should receive it in the mail soon after completing the quest. I don’t know offhand where the group of dancing snowmen will be, probably somewhere in Dalaran. I suppose I’ll just keep on the lookout while looking for people to throw snowflakes at.

Hopefully this helps a few people along their way to the title of Merrymaker.


There is another holiday achievement that is not required for the Merrymaker title, I suppose I should list it too for those that may be curious.

BB King (Alliance)

Pelt the following leaders:

  • Cairne Bloodhoof
  • Lor’themar Theron
  • Vol’jin
  • Lady Sylvanus Windrunner
  • Thrall

BB King (Horde)

Pelt the following leaders:

  • King Varian Wrynn
  • High Tinker Mekkatorque
  • Tyrande Whisperwind
  • Prophet Valen
  • King Magni Bronzebeard

I put my money where my keyboard was

There was a time in ages past when A blogger wrote a post about leveling Alchemy on the cheap.

In response to the comments on that post he decided to put his money where his keyboard was and see just how much it would end up costing.

Why are you looking at me like that?

Ok, Ok, I wrote the post like two weeks ago, sue me.

Anyhow, two weeks ago I took on the task of seeing just how much it would cost me in the long run to level Alchemy purely from the auction house. I did use some mats that I already had laying about, but I take their value into account. I also picked up a few more items once I reached 450.

After it was all said and done I had leveled to 450, specced for transmutation specialist, and gotten the materials for the final transmute quest at 450. In total I spent just under 1300G in cash and used about 550G or so worth of my own storehouse of materials. We will just call it an even 1900G to have a reasonably solid number.

Now, as of this writing I have only done two of the epic gem transmutes toward the quest at 450. I have three left to go before I can start transmuting Cardinal Rubies. My shopping list included the mats for making each epic gem once.

Here is whats left after over a week of listing.

Transmute spec really helped out on this one. I used fifteen of these to skill up from 435 to 450. I ended up with 19 of them after having it proc twice.  Since about half of these have sold for a bid and half on a buyout i’ll split the difference at 60g each and call this 420G once they all sell.

I also have a few flasks left over.

The flasks of agility and greater agility have been slowly selling off, but the earthen elixer and elixir of detect undead have not done so well. I am simply going to consider there a loss at this point. At best I could hope to get maybe another 10G out of these, but we shall see. More likely I’ll save the relisting cost and simply send them to my kids so they can use them on their small army of mid level characters.

Over all the strategy of crafting things that people would buy has worked out pretty well. I still have four epic gem transmutes to go over the next several days, and I am finding an average profit of about 100G on each one. That should put me at somewhere in the neighborhood of 800G still coming in from this project.

Another thing I did is to make use of the extra herbs that I bought for the leveling process. I did not waste their value by turning them into low level  potions. While those do sell I took a loss on every single thing I made until I started crafting at about 350 or better. Instead I used inscription to mill them into inks. In the same way as tipping an Enchanter to D/E a bag full of greens you have been carrying about you can find a friendly scribe and pay them to craft the inks.

Or simply put them back in the auction house, thats up to you. Personally I happen to have a scribe so I did it myself, then sold myself the inks at 80% of market value.

The idea was not to eliminate losses, that is not going to happen with low level stuff. The idea was to limit them to the point that the gains from the higher level stuff would balance out. So the question is, how did we do? We still have an estimated 800G coming back to us from the meta gems and the as yet untransmuted epics.

What do we have already?

I started with 50G to cover listing fees, when it’s all said and done I should end up with about 1980G from this little adventure.

So the answer to the question is:

While you might take a loss on some things, especially before about 350 or so skill, over the long haul you can make alchemy pay for itself.

I put my money where my keyboard was, and I’m glad I did.

An Alchemy experiment

When I posted my leveling guide for Alchemy  a few days ago something kinda surprising happened.

It got comments.

Not that you wonderful folks don’t comment often, you do. It’s just that the content of the post was not one that I expected to generate much response.

Thanks… Seriously, it’s nice to know folks appreciate the work that goes into some of this stuff.

Well, in these comments a valid point was brought up. Is it possible to level Alchemy essentially for free?

Good question. I decided to try and answer it.

Yesterday I went to the auction house and bought the shopping list in that post with about an extra 15-20% of each item. The only exception was the dark jade, huge citrine, and eternal fires for the earthseige diamond transmutes. I already had more than enough of them sitting in the bank on my Jewelcrafter.

All total I spent just over 950G on that list of mats. If you include the value of the transmute mats it would have cost me roughly 1250-1300G to buy it all. This was without waiting for good deals to show up in the auction house, just taking the cheapest of what was available.

Yes, I dropped over 1000G on an experiment for my readers…. what of it?

After my spending spree I sat down for the rather tedious semi-afk process of leveling. Roughly three hours later I parked Drupadi for the night. In that time she had gone from nothing to 425 Alchemy and had the mats on her to push to 435 with stacks of stuff left over.

I decided that since I was planning to specialise in transmutation it would make a good bit of sense to go ahead and do that before I did transmutes to finish leveling. With the help of many donations of outlands primals from my guild, the wonderful Sidhe Devils, I will be finishing my transmute master quest right after I log in today. I’ll finish leveling up right after that.

Then comes the fun part, selling all the stuff.

As of now I shuttled all the stuff I made off to an alt that usually spends his time cooling his heels in Darnassus. It may take a while to get it all through the auction house, so I figured I could separate it like this and see how much I really get back from selling all my leftovers.

Will I make the 1400G I need to make his pay for itself?

Only time will tell.

Leveling Alchemy 1 – 450, on the cheap

Well Lets see here. Apparently I have this character that I would like to level Alchemy on. Now, like everyone else, I don’t want to spend a ton of money doing it. My solution is to farm up all my own herbs.

Now while this may seem self explanatory, my problem is that I have no Herbalist. One would think that this will leave me with no alternative but to buy all my herbs in the auction house. I figure at current prices it would cost me about 1K gold to level strictly by buying from the auction house. Thats a little on the expensive side.

Well, I will pick some up there if the price is right, but there is another way. By knowing in advance what I am going to need I can take herbalisim on the character who will be the alchemist and farm everything up before hand. Of course that means I need a shopping list.


Leveling Alchemy 1 – 450 on the cheap


  • Dont forget to train, it wastes materials. I know this from experience.
  • I am making the choices I am because of both skill up potential and resale value. If you are both lucky and patient you could scoop everything up off the AH when it is cheap and resell everything you craft for enough money to have it come out almost even. Even if you are not in it for the long term money anything’s  better than making stuff just to vendor it.
  • Alchemy Apprentice is 1-75
  • Alchemy journeyman is 75-150
  • Alchemy Expert is 150-225
  • Alchemy Artisan is 225-300
  • Specialisation in Transmutation, Elixirs, or Potions is available through a quest at 325 skill. Minimum level 68.
  • Alchemy Master is 300-375
  • Alchemy Grand Master is 375-450
  • If I think of anything else I’ll add it here.


Alchemy 1-60

  • 59 x Minor Healing Potion – 59 Peacebloom, 59 Sliverleaf, 59 Empty Vial
  • Keep the  healing potions, you will need them for the next step.


Alchemy 60-140


Alchemy 140-210


Alchemy 210-285


Alchemy 285-360


Alchemy 360-450

This should bring you to 450. congratulations, you can now do 5 of the 6 epic gem transmutes. Pick up the quest for Transmute: Cardinal Ruby from the Alchemy trainer in Dalaran and once you have transmuted one each of the other five types it will open up for you.

 Shopping list (keep in mind you will not get a point every time, I would overstock by 10-20% or so)

  • 74 x Empty Vial
  • 65 x Leaded Vial
  • 99 x Crystal Vial
  • 170 x Imbued Vial
  • 59 x Peacebloom
  • 59 x Silverleaf
  • 80 x Briarthorn
  • 30 x Bruiseweed
  • 15 x Mageroyal
  • 40 x Stranglekelp
  • 30 x Liferoot
  • 30 x Kingsblood
  • 45 x Goldthorn
  • 5 x Wild Steelbloom
  • 70 x Sungrass
  • 15 x Khadgar’s Whisker
  • 4 x Iron Bar
  • 1 x Black Vitriol
  • 4 x Purple Lotus
  • 4 x Firebloom
  • 19 x Arthas’ Tears
  • 40 x Blindweed
  • 75 x Golden Sansam
  • 40 x Mountain Silversage
  • 38 x Felweed
  • 20 x Ragveil
  • 101 x Dreaming Glory
  • 10 x Netherbloom
  • 40 x Nightmare Vine
  • 20 Talandra’s Rose
  • 70 Goldclover
  • 41 Tiger Lily
  • 24 Adder’s Tongue
  • 10 Icethorn
  • 40 Lichbloom
  • 10 Dark Jade
  • 10 Huge Citrine
  • 15 Bloodstone
  • 15 Chalcedony
  • 15 Eternal Air
  • 10 Eternal Fire

Someone out there was listening

A while back I made a post about engineering changes I would like to see. 

As was pointed out this morning by Suicidal Zebra (with that handle you totally need the zhevera mount) apparently someone was listening. Here are a few of the things I asked for that are actually coming to pass (at least in Beta)



Warning, Wrath of the Litch King spoilers may lie after the break.

Here is the rest of the story

Engineering changes I would like to see in WotLK

As I was sitting thinking about the expansion today I began bouncing around a few ideas for changes that I would like to see to engineering. Things I figure will make it more fun and more useful at the same time. I am sure none will actually happen because I am suggesting them, my luck just kinda goes that way. They really would be nice to see though. Here are the ten I think are the most realistic to implement without unbalancing the game in any way I could see.


1. An engineering bandage machine. 10 charges applies a bandage to the target, has a separate “bandaged” timer than normal bandages. ( would be right up there with lightwell in effectiveness, but at least it wouldn’t cost me a talent point)

2. Goblin army knife, a multi tool that combines the effects of all the other tools an enginner uses but only occupies one bag slot.

3. An engineering scope with +hit, if not a new one make the old one available as a rep reward craft-able with modern mats.

4. An engineering craftable gun that actually has stats for folks who rely on their guns the most, say hunters for instance.

5. A repair bot that also functions as a portable mailbox, it would be so nice to pick up more bullets/potions/food/whatever without having to inconvenience the rest of my group by hearthing and catching a re summons.

6. An engineering craft-able land mount, available in both standard (level 40) speed and epic (level 60) speed. They would require the appropriate riding skill of course.  I am thinking of something that looks like a segway.

7. A normal walking speed craftable engineering mount available at engineering level 80. bop so it would require level 10 at least. would give absolutely no advantage at all within the game, would just look kinda neat.

8. An inscription for the engineering transponders that would enable them to function for all party members, kinda like a mage portal but limited by having only the two transport points. Would also require a reagent for each use.

9. Goblin anti tank mine, roots a tank or other siege weapon in place for 30 seconds, can only be triggered by siege weapons and tanks. charges 1, 45 second cooldown. crowd control for the new world pvp.

10. An inscription to make goblin jumper cables xl  work 100% of the time to revive the target, however there will still be a 50% chance that a malfunction will occur killing the engineer using them. This one alone would make having a hunter or rogue engineer valuable for raiding as a last ditch “living soulstone”.

These are just a few random ramblings I thought of this morning. They might be interesting, or more likely are just proof I should never blog before coffee.