Category Archives: Tutorials

Skyrim – leveling combat skills fast

UESP wiki has a lot of tips for leveling all skills. In this post I would like to describe the fastest way to level combat skills, namely, one handed, 2-handed and archery.

Combating high level enemies – dragons, briarheart etc are good ways of leveling these skills. However, it is not always easy to find these enemies in abundance. One way to level faster, is to use ‘heal other spell to heal your opponent and use a weapon that does little damage. Bound weapons are a good choice, especially if you don’t have any talents points in Conjuration tree. I used a small iron dagger that did 7 damage, and a bound bow (since I didn’t want to worry about carrying a huge amount of crappy arrows for the sake of leveling). Hitting the enemy and healing them repeatedly is a good method if you need to level restoration as well. However, heal other adds an overhead if restoration is already at 100. Instead, I found that hitting Shadowmere while he tanks the opponent is way faster. Shadowmere has very high health regen, so he would never die or turn on you, unlike a summoned dremora lord, who in my experience turns on you after 4 hits regardless of the damage done.

I find Briarhearts a little too tough for this task. They do a lot of damage and I find myself constantly healing myself and pausing. Hence, I leveled my skills while fighting an ancient dragon. I brought the dragon ‘s health down just enough so that it was permanently grounded and did not fly off for the rest of the battle. I stopped attacking until I was sure that shadowmere was ‘tanking’ the dragon and the dragon would not hit me with my fire breaths. At this stage, I started leveling my combat skills by hitting shadowmere. Using this method,  I found that my 1 hand and archery skills leveled 1 skill point every 2-3 minutes from 95-100.

Also, note that for Archery there is a quest at Angi’s Camp south of Falkreath, which gives up to 6 skill levels if you pass all the skill tests.  I saved this quest until after I was 90 in Archery, so I had only a few skill points left to level after the quest was complete.


Road to Whimsyshire: Diablo 3’s secret level

So, there is no cow level, but you can go to a land of ponies and bears in Diablo 3. However, unlike Diablo 2, the road to whimsyshire is not easy and is very expensive. You require five key ingredients to open the way to this whimsical land of cute creatures, namely:

  1. Leoric’s Shinbone  (Act I) : Found Inside of the fireplace in Leoric’s Manor (Click on the burnt logs)
  2. The Black Mushroom (Act I) – Found in the cathedral, most commonly floor 1 (Click on the mushroom pile
  3. Liquid Rainbow (Act II) : Inside of a mysterious cave in act 2 found in Path to Oasis
  4. Wirt’s Bell (Act  II) : Bought for 100,000 gold from Squirt the Peddler in the Act 2 in the middle of Caldeum Bazaar
  5. Gibbering Gemstone (Act III) : Drops from Chiltara in the Caves of Frost(Found after Bridge of Korsikk)
  6. Plans: Staff of Herding (Act IV) :  The recipe to craft the staff is a drop from Izual (Act 4 Boss)
Continue reading Road to Whimsyshire: Diablo 3’s secret level

Love is in the air

I got this achievement on the last day of the festival on Viconia – my discipline priest. I had completed all the world festivals achievements required for the 310% mount and master riding, on my paladin last year before I took a reprieve from wow and had decided that my focus for PvE achievements would be my paladin, and I would focus pvp achievements on my priest. However, now that my priest is my main character I thought i’d do the achievements anyways. Unfortunately, I decided this late in the afternoon on the last day of the festival, and thought that I wouldn’t get this achievement with less than 8 hours left before it ends. However, this achievement is very easy to get in a single day without having to do dailies everyday. Getting love tokens is easy if you had a couple of hours to spare for grinding love charms in one the level 80 dungeons (doesn’t have to be heroic). I spent about two and a half hours to get 680 love charms to make all the bracelets I needed and traded them for the love tokens. From my calculations you need exactly 520 love charms, if you are lucky to get all 4 types of chocolates from the same box of chocolates for the achievement sweet tooth. Unfortunately, I had to buy 3 boxes for 10 tokens each to get the Sweet Tooth achievement :(. Even though it looks like the Be Mine achievement requires a lot more chocolates, it is easier than the sweet tooth achievement, since the box of heart candies sells only 2 tokens and on an average you need 3-4 boxes to complete the Be Mine achievement.

The best place that I could find to farm the love charms was Halls of Lightning dungeon in Ulduar, Storm Peaks. Since this place is instanced, you don’t have to deal with any competition and trying to tag the mob first. If you are level 85 you can skip most of the trash and skip the first boss to come to the room where slags will continuously spawn every few seconds. It would be very easy to just collect all of them and AoE them down, but after a while I got lazy of running around in circles in the area and asked a friend who was going to go afk for a bit to come and stand at the point where the slags spawn. He also summoned his pet and made the pet stand on the opposite spawn point. This way as soon as the slags spawned, I could just do a cheap heal on my friend’s dk and pull aggro from him and his pet to aoe them down without having to move much. After two and a half hours I had all the charms that I needed after which it was pretty easy to get all the achievements. The following image shows the positions that I, my friend and his friendly pet RootGobbler were standing in to minimize movement, while getting all the slags except one to come attack me.


The rest was just finishing the meta-achievements and performing quests. You will get some more love tokens from completing quests required for Nation of Adoration, which will also be needed for getting the Love Fool title. Wow wiki and overachiever have excellent guides to look up what exactly needs to be done for each of the festival achievements.

The most difficult thing was finding an alliance warlock. I did battlegrounds for hours and I didn’t find any alliance players playing warlocks, let alone a gnome warlock. Lots of gnomes running around but no warlocks. It seems like warlocks are not really a popular class in alliance anymore, which seems odd, since we have a lot of warlocks in horde. Finally I had a friend who created a gnome warlock and I flew to Dun Morogh to shower him with a handful of rose petals. If you do this, be careful of level 85 NPC flying above Ironforge and level 85 players in general roaming around the area.

Finally, you can roam around the world proudly displaying your newly received title announcing yourself as a love fool.


The Dark Convenant

The key to completing this chapter with ease is to push aggressively and fast. I had to restart this mission twice because the first two times I tried going at an easy pace and destroying all the mini bases before heading to the main green base and this gives the main base a lot of time to build more units and become stronger. As time goes by, the aerial attack by the green base also increases in strength which means you need to increase defense at the base, reducing your army in the offense. Even though there are 4 gold mines, you will soon be out of resources if you advance slow in this chapter.

Strategy that worked:

1. In the initial phase, when all the elf bases in the north and south are being attacked, move all the villagers and army (there will be 1-2 people in each base) to a corner of the map, where the undead will not find them. This destruction of bases is scripted so there is no point in fighting the scourge at this point in time. Once the cutscene ends, all the saved villagers and army will the teleported to your central base, giving you more army, saving both resources and time in the early stages.

2. Leave Vashj at the base with the elf archers for defense and take Kael along with the naga mirmidon’s and some archers to the purple base in the south east corner of the map. If you decide to keep some of the naga mirmidon’s at the base for defense don’t forget to use their ensnare ability to web the flying enemies. Take one dragonhawke rider to prevent the towers from attacking your troops. This base should take very little time to be destroyed. When you break the crates in the corner, you will find a tiny castle which you should save for later.

3. Get a few villagers here to build a town hall and start mining gold. Nothing else is needed here at this point.

4. Take Kael’s army after adding reinforcements, if necessary, and move to the purple base to the west of the newly established base of operations. This base would have slightly more troops, especially spiders, so take more than one dragonhawke rider. Once this base is down, create a town hall using the ‘tiny castle’ that you found when you destroyed the south east base in step 2. Ask a worker to build towers and move Vashj’s defensive army here.

5. Build more troops and create a bigger army and attack the Green base. Make sure not to cross into high upkeep. I was still at 51/90  upkeep when I attacked the green base and did not have any issues defeating it. If you haven’t spent more than 45 minutes before attacking the green base, this should be easy to defeat.

There is no need to destroy all mini bases (orange and purple) before attacking the green base. Note that when you’ve destroyed the purple base on the west, the orange base in the north west will send some troops to attack you in the south. The strength of the army will depend on how much time has passed since the chapter began.

I’m sure there are other strategies that work, however, the key is to attack aggressively and fast before the enemy gets too much time to strengthen his army.