Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Getting Close on Kalimdor

So things have gotten really busy with real life lately as I mentioned in an earlier post, so I haven't made a ton of progress on Loremaster in the last week or so.

I'm basically at exactly the same place on Eastern Kingdoms - 258 quests still to go. In Kalimdor, I've just gotten down into the double digits with 99 quests to go, for a total of 357.

I've got a few quest chains that I want to wrap up in Kalimdor, and then I think I'm going to hop over to Eastern Kingdoms to make sure that I get the credit for all the quests that have you flying back and forth between continents before starting on some of the instances quests.

The big ones that I still need to knock out in Kalimdor from an instance perspective are Wailing Caverns, Maraudon, Dire Maul and Zul'Farrak.

After Memorial Day is over, I should have a little bit more time to play and continue working on knocking this out.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Loremaster Update

I know it's only been two days since I posted about my decision to finish Loremaster before continuing to move forward with leveling my alts, but just wanted to provide a quick update.

I managed to complete about 100 quests in Kalimdor since Sunday (although granted mostly low hanging fruit like Durotar and Mulgore). I've also started to go back to figure out quests that I missed in other areas and have so far covered Winterspring, Thousand Needles, Barrens (amazing to me how many quests in Barrens I had skipped), Felwood, Feralas, Stonetalon Mountains, and a few in Tanaris.

My quest log is now full, so I have a few that I need to turn in and then I'm going to focus on Silithius for a little while as there seem to be an enormous amount of quests there that I can work on for a while, having never quested there while leveling.

I'm starting to feel like I am going to have to go back and run some of the instance quests that I'd been skipping thinking that those wouldn't really count anyway. I feel like I'm going to come up short based on what I still have to go if I don't knock those out.

So here's where we stand as of today:

Kalimdor - 206 quests to go.
Eastern Kingdoms - 258 quests to go

There have been some great quests that I've done that I never did on any of my toons that have been really interesting. Counterattack! - which you get from Regthar Deathgate in the Barrens after completing Herzul Bloodmark - a great quest where you defend the outpost from waves of centaur attacks. Not particularly hard as a level 80, but would probably be quite epic and difficult at level.

The fun thing about this is it's almost like a puzzle figuring out which quests count, which don't and which you can do or don't have. I'm using an addon called Everyquest to track completed quests which makes things a little easier, and it does display zone quests that you haven't done yet, but it takes a little research to figure out which of the undone quests are ones that you can do and are likely to count.

I'll continue to keep you posted!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Outland Loremaster

So I've seen more and more speculation on various fan sites and other blogs that the Loremaster Achievement may possibly be removed once Cataclysm is released. So I've decided to go ahead and finish it up on Joar now rather than wait until later and run the risk that I won't have enough time to finish it before the release. After all, I will clearly be able to continue to level alts after Cataclysm, so that can always be delayed.

So I spent some time yesterday focused on knocking out the rest of Outland Loremaster on Joar yesterday and finally got it done!

The two final areas for me where Blades Edge Mountain and Shadowmoon Valley. The Netherwing quest chain helped a lot towards finishing Shadowmoon Valley, but there were also three drop quests that were pretty crucial in getting these things done:


http://thottbot.com/i31345
http://thottbot.com/i30579
http://thottbot.com/i32621

A couple of these were pretty difficult to solo, but I did manage to do it on my lock (so a Death Knight or Paladin should be able to do it while afk)

For Blade's Edge, these are some that I've been working on for a while. The Ogrila quests are pretty key here to getting these done.

As near as I can tell, there are two somewhat difficult routes to completing this one. The first is to solo the groups quests that you get from Mog'dorg (who sits on a tower near the Blade's Edge Arena) that have you run around killing Gronn's. I enlisted the help of my son's paladin and knocked these out.

The other is to grind out Consortium rep until you reached Revered, which will open another series of Consortium quests for you at Bashir Landing. If you don't want to group or can't seem to solo the Gronn, this is probably the easiest way to go.

Anyway, I ended up knocking all of these out yesterday and am now heading to Kalimdor to work on the quests there. The main areas that I didn't do while leveling there are Durotar, Mulgore, Silithius, Azshara and Winterspring. But I'm sure there are tons of quests in areas that I did hit, so it should be fun.

What I still have to go is 316 quests in Kalimdor and 258 in Eastern Kingdoms.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Little Real Life Delay

I've gotten a little busy on the real life side for the last week or so, so my leveling so far in May has slowed significantly. I did manage to get my Shaman up to level 60 after last weeks update, so he's now flying comfortably around Outland. I also managed to get another 3 levels on the rogue, and one more level on the shadow priest (although I'll still be working on the Shadow Priest until at least Thursday of this week, so should be able to knock out a couple of more levels.

The Shadow Priest continues to be a lot of fun. While he's still a pretty heavy mana drain, and likely will be for another 8-10 levels or so, he's great for leveling because all of his abilities are constantly healing him back to full. So as long as I keep myself well supplied with water, I can keep rolling pretty quickly. And Spirit Tap and his other Replenishment talents do cut down on the amount that I need to drink pretty significantly.

The rogue continues to be really strong for leveling. Constantly spamming Sinister Strike gets to be a little old after a while, so I've been tossing in a rupture every now and then just for fun. Or opening from stealth and starting with either a Garrote or a Cheap Shot - again - not because these are particularly more effective or faster - just makes things interesting.

Will likely spend a decent chunk of this coming weekend leveling the mage, so hoping to have her safely deposited in Outland before the end of the weekend. We'll see how that goes. I think my guild has given up on its attempted return to serious raiding, so that should give me a little bit more weekend time for leveling, since my healer probably won't get pulled into anything.

I did switch my warlock main over to demonology. It was certainly my favorite spec while leveling, and I'd seen a ton of data coming out about how demonology was now peforming much better than destro for raiding. Ran a couple of heroics and quickly got the feel back of the demonology rotation. Was really happy with my dps in heroics at least - so there seems to be some truth to the rumors!

So here's where we stand this week on the remaining 4 toons:

Joarbek - Enhancement Shaman - level 60
Joara - Frost Mage - level 52
Joarvyk - Shadow Priest - level 51
Joarstab - Combat Rogue - level 45.

My plan is to finish up Loremaster on Joar as soon as I get these last few toons to 80, so may start providing some data around what I still have to go on that as well. Might sneak in a few quests here and there working toward that goal as well.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Outland Ho!

So after a slight pause to get my profs caught up with my leveling, I finally took my Shaman to Outland. This was the first of my four simultaneous leveling toons to make to the next stage, so I'm really looking forward to the "zone at a time" questing experience of Outland.

Perhaps for the first five minutes or so, I'll forget how much I despise Hellfire Peninsula.

So I normally wait until I hit 80 to worry about leveling the professions on my toons, but for these last two crafters, I've been having my bank alt keep an eye out for low priced mats that they need. I've been amazed how incredibly expensive those mid-level herbs are on my server, so I decided it probably made the most sense to get my herbalism skill caught up on the shammy so he can pick a significant portion of his own for his inscription.

So, he's sitting at 300 on both now and ready to roll Outland.

Not sure how far he'll get before I move on to the next toon. I need to get the School of Hard Knocks Achievement on my main. It's the last piece I need for the meta achievement. So, I'm going to dedicate some time trying to get it before continuing with my leveling blitz. We'll see how it goes. I like to PvP a lot on my warlock, but I've never really seen his role in the battlegrounds as being the flag and node captures that are part of the achievement. He's more of a crowd control / death dealer type. So it'll be an adjustment to my play style, but we'll see how it goes.

If nothing else, it'll be decent honor, right!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

April Leveling Update

Now that April is officially behind us, I wanted to go ahead and post my regular monthly leveling update and see how I was doing against my goal of getting my remaining four toons to 80 by Cataclysm.

For the month of April, I managed to gain a total of 36 levels, or an average of 1.2 levels per day. This was a huge improvement over March, which clocked in at just barely above 0.8 and is pretty in line with my total average for the year of 1.27.

At this pace, I should have the remaining four toons hit level 80 by around August 4th. That added about two days to my estimate from the end of March - still not a significant difference.

It doesn't seem likely that Cataclysm will launch before then given that the beta still isn't out, and the WOTLK beta took a little over four months, so even if they released tomorrow, we'd be looking at September 1st. That would still potentially give me enough time to finish up profs and get Loremaster on Joar as well.

All good goals!

I've also been gearing up both my druid and warlock some more, so that has taken some time away from leveling as well. Can't totally give up on the end game after all!

So, for the remaining toons, here's where they stand:

Joarbek - Enhancement Shaman - level 56
Joarvyk - Shadow Priest - level 50
Joara - Frost Mage - level 50
Joarstab - Combat Rogue - level 42

With any luck, by next months updates, all of these guys (except for probably the rogue) will be questing through Outland!