Monday, June 6, 2011

Ideal Alts Series | The Herder AoE Farmer

Ideal Alts Series - The Herder

Ideal Alts Series

We've already discussed The Dungeon Farmer and The Collector, which are both excellent options for your factory of alts.  If I were a new player looking to make my first alt new character today, The Collector would be the type of character I would make.  It is an excellent choice for expanding into both the pet and recipe flipping markets as well as the Inscription market selling glyphs and Mysterious Fortune Cards.  Both can be excellent income sources for any gold making player.  Today's Ideal Alt is focusing on The Ideal AoE Farmer Alt - The Herder.

Ideal Alt - The Herder

This was once a very fun alt character for me.  It was a lot of fun during Burning Crusade when this type of character was my main, before I switched to my current Deathknight main character. 

Role:  The Herder - is a farming character, but is a farming specialist.  The Herder can round up large numbers of mobs and survive the onslaught while killing wave after wave of humanids, dragonkin, beasts and more with the AoE abilities and the healing skills that Herders possess.  The Herder is the farmer that doesn't kill things one at a time.  They kill things 5, 10, 20 at a time.  Herders looking for locations with mobs that are closely packed together or in groups.  This allows for maximum benefit for the AoE abilities they posses.

Class:  Paladin is in my opinion the best AoE farmer for an Ideal Alt.  Many players may choose a Mage as the best AoE farming alt, but I disagree.  You can overcome one of the major drawbacks of using the Paladin, it's short range, with one of the profession selections.  A Paladin has some excellent AoE abilities as well as some stacking-DoTs and has the survivability to endure the major damage received as a Herder Alt.  You will be Protection specced similar to a tank, but with talents focusing on mobility as well as AoE damage and survivability.  Something similar to a 0/31/10 Paladin Herder Build would be what you are aiming for.

Race:  Horde - Tauren  / Alliance - Dwarf 
The Tauren is the ideal choce for the extra 5% base health and the AoE stun Warstomp.  Dwarfs are another good option for Stoneform.

Professions:  Goblin Engineering and Skinning
By giving this Ideal AoE Farming Alt Goblin Engineering, we can both further increase the AoE damage and stunning options and also greatly increase the pulling distance with the Engineer Only Rockets.  The Engineer only extra shield belt attachment as well as the rocket speed boost are also excellent additions to the increased survivability and mobility that The Herder Ideal Alt is centered on. 

Skinning because you are a farming character and the sheer numbers of mobs you can kill in quick order make skinning a much better farming option then mining or herbalism.  Then again, you could choose Tailoring over Skinning if your main purpose was cloth farming off of humanoids.  As a Tailor you would get extra cloth from your Cloth Scavenging ability once you hit Northrend.

This is really a fun Ideal Alt to play as you can herd up massive numbers of creatures, zap ones that are far away with your rocket, speed boost for faster herdings of even larger herds of mobs, and tons of other fun tricks.  Creating massive trains of mobs that all stack around you is a lot of fun, especially once you start to take those massive numbers of attacks all at once.  Better burn em down quick!

As an Engineer you have plenty of ways to empty your bags without leaving your farming spot either.  Toss in a Traveler's Tundra Mammoth and you may never need to even go to town.  If you decide to go with this Herder Alt build, you can really do some amazing things with an item like a Demon-Forged Breastplate and a Skullflame Shield.  I would try to collect those 2 items for the alt before I started leveling it.  Trust me, you can do some amazing pulls with built in drains.  You have so many mobs pounding on you at once, that there are soo many RNG rolls for the proc that a lot of times you will visually see them procc multiple times each pull.  Once you get the correct level and reputation, upgrade your shield to the Petrified Lichen Guard with a Shield Spike and it gets even nastier.  Those poison DoTs stack up and inflict the many attackers that are already on your Consecration, while you Hammer them down.  This build is all about letting the mobs kill themselves in addition to the AoE damage.  It is possible to lose you connection and log back in to all dead mobs surrounding you.

Ideal Alt - The Herder AoE Farmer
  • Tauren
  • Protection Paladin (0/31/10)
  • Engineer
  • Skinner
  • Survival Specialist
  • AoE Specialist
  • Ground and Mounted Mobility Specialist
  • Massive Kills per Hour
  • Independent - Engineering Services
  • Engineering Portals to Northrend Farming Zones
  • Loot-a-Rang - Ranged Looting and Engineering Utility
  • Engineering Pet Seller
  • Can Farm Anything Mob Related
  • Also great option for Profitng From GlowCaps since you want the Sporeggar reputation shield anyways.
Be sure to check out the other entries in the Ideal Alts Series and catch Wes and I discussing them on The Auction House Junkies | WoW Gold Makers Podcast.

Who has a different option for an Ideal Alt that is a Herder AoE Farmer?

Ideal Alt - Tank AoE Herder

Ideal Alts Series


  1. both the mage and the paladin are good choices, I have also used a shadow priest. she can heal herself if required and her DoTs are impressive. When I need to farm motes I head to... hmm, you know, the elemental place in nagrand, arrgh, stupid memory....

    Anyway, I run a circle, DoT-ing every elemental, by the time I get to the start they are dead and I can loot them. Wait for a respawn, repeat.

  2. I agree that Tankadin is the best choice. I don't like farming non-elites and I neither like small pulls so Mage is a no-no.

    Older heroics are a good example. LOTS of gold to be made, but a clothie with no self heals just gets raped, at least at level 80. Haven't tried at 85.

  3. Paladins don't really have short range even without Engineering. If a paladin is prot they have 30 yd. Avenger's Shield, they can spec for 30 yd Judgements (I have this in my raiding spec, so it's not really a "weird" thing to go for) and have taunts, exorcism, etc. If they're ret they have all of this minus the Avenger's Shield, but get instant Exorcisms to make up for it.

    So far I've enjoyed this series but as I read this one I just thought "What's the point? Why would anyone need this type of character?"

    I thought about things in the past, such as farming Arcane Tomes at Black Temple and such, but in Cataclysm I can't think of anything that this build would be ideal for.

    I thought maybe rounding up crocs in Tol Barad for a skinning fest or something, but you didn't even mention Worgen, soooo. :P

    The only time I've come close to doing this sort of AoE roundup farming is farming cloth/Tiny Treasure Chests, but the problem with that is you didn't take tailoring. You see, Engineering isn't all you talk it up to be.

    Womrhole to Northred only works every, what, four hours? And you can just as easily get a Dalaran ring and fly/Argent Tournament Tabard, etc. And if you get "Underground" as an option you've blow that CD as it is.

    Have you ever even USED a Loot-a-Rang? It's completely useless for "normal" looting. Great when something's too close to something you don't want to face pull, but for the concept you're talking about a Loot-A-Rang is made completely useless by the fact you must target the mob, click your Loot-a-Rang, then STOP and wait for the cast time of looting, then wait for the hunk of junk to be off CD. It's not a perk at all, it's a waste of bag space.

    I see no purpose of having Engineering to this build; in days of Mobile Banking guild perks, 15-30 minute hearths, and tons of items to port you around regardless of profession/class I see no major benefit to Engineering that would outweigh cloth scavenging, I think it's a waste to put Engineering on this build instead of Tailoring.

    (Slightly related: I needed to redo my bank toon on Horde, so I'm modeling it fairly close after your Collector, I'll let you know how it ends up. :D)

  4. @Faid

    Good points of course, but I still disagree.

    Tailoring and Skinning together woth for the dungeon farmer, but the aoe grinder is going to be using 1 or the other. Rarely are there humanoids and skinnable mobs packed together. So half the time your one profession would be wasted. Besides Tailoring's scavenging only works in Cata and Northrend zones.

    Engineering is still very nice to have. When you are pulling 20 or so mobs at near or over your character level is when then engineering bombs, stuns, shields, etc become much more useful than tailoring. The range on the rocket is over 30 yds and helps a ton when pulling far mobs.

    Loot-a-rang I actually use all the time. Especially on a build like this when mobs will start to flee. There is hardly any cast time for the rang and the looting is instant. It is perfect for those mobs that run when near death and die a ways away from you. The 1 sec cast is much better than running after the stragglers corpses (unless you have to skin them anyways).

    Engineering port is only once per 4 hours yeah but its nice. I love engineering myself.

    The argent crusade tabard, bridle, and dalaran ring are all great, but who buys those for alts. I'd assume most use those for their mains only.

    Hope the collector turns out ncie for you!


  5. Affliction Warlock works great for this too. Fighting 20 mobs at once doesn't have to be done standing in their face letting them hit you the whole time, and that ranged pulling ability combined with constant healing works great. Also, there's almost no repair bills since you don't let the mobs hit you where a Paladin is going to constantly throw gold at repairs.

    I agree with Engineering being somewhat weak on a toon like this. It's not wasted, but it's not fantastic either.

    Sure, if you're a Skinner/Tailor then you'll often end up wasting one profession or the other on a specific group of mobs, but that also gives you versatility in being able to go to a different farming spot. If someone's already farming your primary skinning location you can switch to a cloth farming location. That same flexibility comes up when/if a particular market gets flooded; stash the mats you've already farmed and go farm the other until things calm down a bit.

  6. @psynister

    Good points, but I think I am just partial to Engineering because it is my favorite profession. Just love having a mailbox to drop anywhere, which is awesome for a farmer to extend a farming session without having to go to town.


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