Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pally Power!

I know I discussed my indecision on which class to level next a couple of months ago when I was working on leveling up my druid and was debating whether it made more sense to just go with the pally even though he was a few levels behind. Well, I finally made it back to my pally in the rotation of toons that I'm leveling - and holy crow - still massive fun!

Maybe I'm just meant to be a paladin.

I managed to get the Paladin from 28 to 32 yesterday. I also was able to get my hunter from 60 to 62. Will probably continue to work on the paladin this week. If I focus on the paladin, I'll probably switch his professions to herbalism and alchemy. My son finally maxed jewelcrafting on his death knight, so we desparately need a maxed alchemist in order to do some epic gem transmutes! He was working on it on his level 70 hunter, but if I wait for him, I might be doing Cataclysm gems before he gets around to it.

Probably easiest to drive the hunter those last 3 levels to 65 then just bang it out on him, but I'm having so much fun with the pally.

As near as I can tell, an elite mob for a pally is one that gets two-shotted instead of one-shotted. It probably helps that my max BS death knight is keeping my pally nicely equipped in gear, although I appear to be reaching a point where that's not going to work as well for the next few levels. So we'll see.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Joy of Hardcore Leveling

I know, sounds crazy doesn't it. But I enjoy leveling, and I consider myself somewhat hardcore about it. And I'm not in any way trying to knock the hardcore raiders out there. Trust me. If my life lent itself to it, I'd probably be playing only one toon and raiding 4-5 nights per week. But I've got 3 kids and a wife who doesn't like video games. So my play time tends to be extremely limited.

If I can play in evenings, it's usually because I'm traveling for work, so I'm hooked up on my laptop, on hotel wireless somewhere - not really the best set up for raiding. And even when I try it, just subbing in at the end of a raid or something, the fact that I have trouble cracking 2K dps in ilvl 213+ gear just raises more eyebrows than it's worth. Can't really say - hey guys, I'm on Hampton Inn wireless and a laptop with no graphics card, so I'm driving 1000+ latency and about 3fps.

I really can't do arena's either for pretty much the same reason. What rogue? You have died..release spirit? I do love PvP, but even battlegrounds and Wintergrasp can be pretty frustrating.

So that brings me to the one thing that I can do, and something that I really enjoy, which is leveling different classes of toons. There is a certain satisfaction from dinging a new level, getting new spells and talents, or getting a nice quest reward. And I can seem to do pretty well in 5 mans, so that's all on the table while leveling. Again - not topping the chart, but I can pull my weight. So that's what I do. But boy, wouldn't I love to be hitting Anub or Twins on Hard Mode.

Interestingly enough, I belong to a fairly hard core raiding guild, the understands my situation and is just grateful that I'm more than happy to provide enchants, mats, etc. pretty much whenever and am more than happy to provide help to folks leveling different classes. And exchange, every now and then, I get brought into a raid so that I can see some of the newer content.

So tonight I'm working on my paladin. Was spending a bit of time late last week on the hunter, but skipped right from the Shaman to the Hunter, which I hadn't planned to do, so thoughts I'd go back and give the pally a little leveling love. He's sitting at 28 right now. The hunter I got to 61 before I switched back over.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Leveling as Frost and Other Updates

Well, leveling my noob priest continued to be more fun that I remembered, and I was able to get him to level 16 before running out of rested xp and switching to my mage. Spirit Tap kept my mana full and a nice rotation of applying my shield, then Smite, Shadow Word: Pain and Mind Blast when up seemed to finish off the mobs nicely.

When I switched to my mage, after trying a fire spec for my last push of leveling to 20, I decided to switch back to frost. While I enjoyed killing the mobs a little faster as fire, if I pulled more than one, I was basically dead, so I made the switch back to frost. Definitely a huge improvement on leveling. And the addition of Evocation at level 20 has seriously reduced the need to drink repeatedly, which also helps. It's basically a frost bolt spam approach with the occasional Fire Blast build in for when they get close enough. Frostbite seems to proc often enough to keep the mobs from getting anywhere near me most of the time, and even if I do pull two or three mobs, it is easy enough to Frost Nova, sheep one, kill the other, bandage and then kill the sheep.

One thing I did discover - always a good idea to check to make sure there isn't some giant kodo standing right behind you before hitting Frost Nova - really seems to piss them off!

I was able to run my mage up to level 22 before again running out of rested xp and so I'll be switching to my shaman for a while, who is currently sitting at level 24. I do enjoy leveling with the Shaman. I'm leveling as enhancement, which seems to be the generally recommended approach. It's pretty easy and mana efficient - make sure you've got a shield up, pull with lightning, shock them when it's available and other than that, just pound 'em into the ground with your big two hander. The best shock spell to use seems to vary depending on what youv'e gotten most recently from the trainer - I like both Earth and Frost shock.

So, I'll see how far I can get the Shammy before running out of rested xp and switching to the Paladind, who is currently camped at level 28.

I have been debating this approach of doing a little bit on each toon. I think it is overall faster because it maximizes the use of rested xp, but it is a little less personally fulfilling because you don't see those huge increases in levels from week to week on any given toon. So the other possible approach would be to just start with my highest level non-80 and level them individually, in reverse order, starting with my level 60 hunter. I'm pretty sure I'd actually get more of my toons to 80 before the expansion that way, so I may yet change my approach. But in the meantime, I'm going to continue with this approach for the next week or so, just to see how it goes.

Oh, and I failed to mention on Tuesday that I did managed to get "the Hallowed" on my warlock main in about two days. No purple proto-drake for Joar though, as I don't have the Winter holiday, Elder or Children's week (because of my lack of PvP achievement for Children's week).

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

When Did Priests Become Fun?

So I was getting a little bored of the endgame stuff on my 3 level 80's, and decided to go back and pick up my lowest level toon - my priest / auction house toon. He's been stuck at level 14 for the longest time.

So, I was messing around with him a little bit yesterday and was surprised by how much fun I was having. I managed to get him to 15 and half way to 16 in just an hour or two and really had a great time doing it. Had no problems at all on the Barrens quests - some of which have given me a great deal of trouble on other toons - particularly the one where you have to pick up the crossroads crates that are stuffed in an area with zillions of patrolling mobs.

I was very pleasantly surprised that even if I managed to pull 2 or 3 mobs, all it really meant is that I needed to reapply my shield once or twice, but as long as I kept everyone DoT'd up, they seemed to go down without me taking much if any damage at all. Never did actually have to pop a heal on myself. My spirit tap talents seemed to keep my mana replenished without me having to drink as much as I'd remembered from originally leveling this toon.

I was also thinking about going back and doing the Onyxia attunement quest line on my death knight. Ever since they dropped the attunement requirement to get into Onyxia's Lair, I can't imagine that too many people are still doing these quests, and I really enjoyed it lorewise. Plus, I can't imagine there are too many death knights that have actually done the thing, so thought that might be fun.

I went ahead and abandoned my experiment with leveling my mage as fire and re-re-respec'd her as frost again. So we'll see if she stays off the shelf with that new spec.

In other fun, I ran a 25 man Ulduar with a former guild of mine on Saturday. It reminded me why I don't really enjoy raiding all that much. All bosses that I had killed before that seemed much harder with this group for some reason and several wipes on Ignis and Kologarn - probably a combination of people not understanding the fights and people having had too much to drink by the time we got that far. So, three hours of effort and 70g or so in repair bills for less emblems of conquest than I could have gotten from a single heroic Nexus run. Oh yeah..that's why I don't raid much. I really enjoy coming in occasionally as a late sub with my guild, because they tend to plow through everything. I'm not really looking for loot (and they know that) unless absolutely no one else wants something or can't use it on their 14th off spec - I'm just happy to see the content, and they don't mind as much that I'm not top of the charts on dps because they understand that it's just not my thing.

Don't get me wrong, my dps is usually pretty respectable - at least 3K - but half the time if I can raid, I'm playing on a laptop on hotel wireless somewhere, so I'm somewhat hampered by my RL gear. I can usually do about 25-50% better from a dps standpoint on my desktop on a dedicated line at home - but that's an extremely rare occurence when I can raid that way.

I also spent a decent part of the weekend putting together a tanking set for my death knight. There seems to be a general lack of tanks to run heroics for my guild during the day, so I thought I'd gear up and spec out my death knight for the sole purpose of helping guildies do badge runs. I'm a Titanium Earthguard Ring and Necklace short of my optimal set, but hopefully someone will put one of each of those on the auction house soon!

That's about it for this week. Will likely continue messing with the priest for a few days until picking the mage back up. And I've been tinkering with the idea of knocking out all the Azeroth and Outland dungeons on my death knight just for fun.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Leveling Update

The past week or so has been a productive one. Not overly so in terms of leveling, but I feel like I got a lot accomplished on a variety of my toons. I was able to pretty quickly get my druid up to Honored with Sons of Hodir - hello Mammoth Mining Bag! No - not looking to sell those on the auction house - although I should probably look to see how they sell - they're incredibly easy to make. The main thing was I just wanted one for my Death Knight and my son was begging me for one for his. And since he's being nice about keeping me stocked in epic gems using his recently maxed Jewelcrafter, I figure a few bags here and there is the least I can do.

I also managed to get my Shaman to 24. Still a really fun toon for me to play, although not sure if I'll ever end up leveling it all the way. I will at least make the push to 30 at some point in order to get the Air Totem quests and Windfury weapons and all that.

Also, after reading an article by Christian Belt over on WoW.com about leveling a mage, I dusted off my mage and made the push from 18 to 20. Basically, I wanted to get Blink, Blizzard and the Teleport abilities as well as a mount. A mage was actually the first toon I ever started on WoW and ended up quickly abandoning it because of how often and easily I seemed to die. I pick it up every now and then, and then it doesn't take long to remember why I abandoned it in the first place. So here's my leveling process - blast, drink, blast, drink, blast, drink....oops...pulled two mobs...corpse run. I've tried both fire and frost - I think frost is a little better in terms of survivability, at least at low levels, but not enough to keep this guy off the shelf. Oh, and I transferred this mage over to my normal server so she'd have company with all my other Horde toons, so Licious the mage is now Vindoria the mage. Can you believe the name Licious was already taken? Bummer.

I also got my warlock to Champion of Orgrimmar and started going back and working on starting area quests in order to get my rep to Exalted. These Argent Tournament dailies don't thrill me - but it'll be nice to be able to buy the BoA chest pieces for Champion Seals - I just have no interest in wasting regular badges on them.

And last but not least, I've also decided to pick my pally back up and start aggressively leveling him. I really enjoyed leveling the druid, but for some reason, he's just not doing it for me in the endgame. I really need to run a few more 5-mans on him and see how I like that. For PvP he's OK but switching into tree form is a lot like painting a big glowing target on yourself that says - hi - I'm squishy and I'm healing - please kill me now! I seem to be able to keep myself alive for a pretty long period of time if there's only one or two folks focused on me, but then I'm not really doing much to heal the rest of the battleground raid, so I end up feeling ineffective. But I'm guessing the druid will be a lot more fulfilling than a paladin for 5 man instance healing - although with the changes to Beacon of Light, I'm guessing that's a little bit more manageable on a paladin than it used to be. I also don't really have any professions that I'm looking to level on the paladin, so I'm somewhat interested in how quickly I could do it without worrying about professions. My final /played time on the druid ended up being right around 8 days, which I thought was pretty decent. I'm betting I can beat that on the paladin though.

So, if I finish the paladin, and then pick up the hunter (who, while doing a short stint in rehab following a faction change, is safely ensconced in Outland at level 60). That will leave me with a decision about whether to do rogue or warrior with a goblin once expansion hits. I'm leaning toward rogue. I think the mage and priest will likely remain on the shelf due to excessive squishiness and the shaman will be something I pick up every now and then to toy with.

Happy leveling!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ding! 80 #3!

Well - I haven't had much of a chance to provide any updates lately, but I did manage to ding 80 on my druid a little over a week ago! I quickly worked on completing the Sons of Hodir quest chain so that I could start doing the daily rep grind for Sons of Hodir. My druid is a leatherworker, and I really want the pattern for the Mammoth Mining Bag that you get at Honored for them. Or at least my Death Knight miner really wants my druid to get that pattern.

I also went ahead and moved my alliance hunter over to horde and over to the same server with all of my other Horde characters. I was quickly finding out that there wasn't enough of a difference in the quest lines between the two factions to make it worthwhile for me and the synergies to be obtained from having all my toons on the same faction / same server vastly outweighed the miniscule differences in lore.

I think rather than pushing to get the hunter to 80, I'm just going to put him into the leveling rotation with the rest of my toons. I may work on getting him to 65 fairly quickly simply because I want to be able to max him out on alchemy somewhat quickly in order to have the transmutes available. My son has managed to max out his Death Knight on Jewelcrafting - and did it all by farming / prospecting..didn't buy a single thing! I thought that was particularly impressive.

In other leveling news, I'm also working on getting Crusader for Joar. I've decided I want to save my badges for gear, so I'm going to use Champion seals to get the BoA chest pieces to help with my various toons leveling.

Finally, my paladin recently hit 27, my mage hit level 18 (what a disappointing list of new spells at 18... :-( ) and I'm planning to spend a little bit of time on the Shaman next.

Oh, and I've been working on accumulating a nice set of PvP gear for each of my level 80's, mostly by doing the Wintergrasp quests which are always a blast!