Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Two Whole Months!

Well - it has been more than two months now since my ninth toon hit level 80. I must say, it's driving me nuts. I was able to amuse myself a bit with PvP, and then worked on running dungeons on my various healers a bit, and finally, I've been working on maxing out gathering professions on any alts that didn't already have them. But even with that, the itch to level keeps popping back up. There's only a week left to go until Cataclysm and then I'll have another 45 levels to gain on my existing level 80's, and a full 85 levels to go on my new goblin warrior. You think I could just leave things alone.

But no. So - I snuck over to another server and have been working on leveling my alliance toons. I've been messing with the Death Knight since he was farthest along. I've managed to get him up to level 65, almost to 66. It's been pretty different, since the first time I leveled a Death Knight on the Horde side it was as Blood, and that all seemed to work really well for me.

But with Blood being the new tanking spec, it looks like Unholy or Frost are the candidates for leveling. My initial thought was to level as Unholy because of the advantage of the permanent pet.

When I hit 65, I switched over to dual-wield frost just to give it a try. I was incredibly surprised by how hard this new spec hits. Mobs are going down a lot faster, and as a result, I'm taking a lot less damage - which overall seems to equate to more uptime.

There's essentially no way I'm going to get this toon to 80 by Cataclysm, but I'm having fun at the moment.

Now that I think about it, I'm not real sure why I went with the Death Knight instead of trying out one of the new lower level starting areas - so I might change that and go with another class instead - maybe Hunter?

In any case, it'll give me something to do for a few days before the Cataclysm release.

I'm also making a few tweaks to my planned leveling order for Cataclysm, so here are the latest thoughts:

Paladin (right now, I'm just more comfortable healing on the paladin - so thinking this may be my dedicated raiding toon)
Druid
Warlock
Shaman
Hunter
Mage
Priest
Death Knight
Rogue
Goblin Warrior!

Note - I've moved the Death Knight close to the bottom for leveling purposes, but will still likely work on maxing his Blacksmithing ASAP so that he can craft gear for the paladin. I might still switch the order of Mage and Hunter, but right now I'm feeling pretty good about this list.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hail Neltharion!

So I was working on mining on my rogue last night, hanging out in Thousand Needles, half hoping that Blizzard was going to do something cool the night before the Shattering patch dropped. Have Deathwing actually come screaming out of the Maelstrom and start messing things up a bit early. So, I was sitting there in Thousand Needles, with my surf board waxed and ready to go.

I was figuring, with the way that place is going to be flooding, once Deathwing does break out, that's going to be one heck of a wave. Would be a shame to miss it!

But, alas. The Earth-Warder, Deathwing the Destroyer, decided to stand me up instead. All I got was dust and scorpions (and a crap load of Tin and Iron Ore).

I was a bit disappointed to see that the requirements for Loremaster were going to be changing effective today. I'm guessing that's going to be off the table for me before Cataclysm at this point, but I guess we'll have to see what the numbers look like once the servers come back up.

My priorities continue to be getting the rest of my gathering professions maxed on my last two toons prior to launch. At this point, I just have mining on the rogue, and then mining and herbalism on the priest to go. If I had any sense at all, I'd just wait until after Cataclysm to do those on the priest. After all, it's probably going to be easier to do when you can fly around to do it.

I may also do a quick race / class change today as well. I will admit that I've never been a huge fan of blood elves, and when I go through my list of toons, it seems wrong for me personally that I have two blood elves and only one Orc - so I will likely change my blood elf mage to one of the new Orc mages!

I've also been debating the order that I'll be leveling my toons after the expansion hits. In case I want to run dungeon content, I will likely do the tanks and healers first, but I feel like Joar needs to be pretty high on the list as my original toon. So here is what I'm thinking:

Druid
Paladin
Warlock
Death Knight (maybe give tanking another try?)
Shaman
Hunter
Mage
Priest
Rogue

Given how much I enjoy both the priest and the mage, it seems odd to me that they're near the bottom of the list, but I guess part of the problem with being an altoholic is I really love all my classes! I could move the Death Knight down, switch to tanking on the paladin and move the priest way up to level as a healer. The only downside to that approach is the priest is the least geared of all my healer toons, so seems a bit risky. In any case, I'll likely be tweaking this list a bit over the next two weeks. The other advantage to the order above is it has all my crafters being leveled first.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Back on Loremaster

So I finished maxing out Mining on my paladin and have now switched to leveling both professions on my mage. I've also picked up working on Loremaster on Joar a bit. Curious to see if I can get it done before Cataclysm launches, although since it doesn't appear that it will be going away, there is a lot less pressure to get it finished up.

Here's where I stand on Loremaster:

Loremaster of Eastern Kingdoms: 218 quests to go
Loremaster of Kalimdor: 74 quests to go.

So 292 quests total. With 21 days left until Cataclysm, that would work out to 14 quests per day. Very doable. I finished up the Fallen Hero of the Horde quest line which was a lot of fun, and have been working through a few of those last things that I had done and not turned in. I was then going to focus on Eastern Kingdoms, as I know a lot of those have you running back and forth.

I also did what I expect will be my last raid pre-Cataclysm on the druid this weekend. I managed to get through Dreamwalker, which for me is very good. Did 21K hps on the druid, which I was very happy with. Was the only one going through the portals and still managed to get her down without any trouble. Had a Healing Touch hit for 122K! Holy pallies eat your heart out.

So, the plan for the next three weeks is to split time between Loremaster and finishing those last few gathering professions on the toons. Have skinning and herbalism to finish on the mage, mining on the rogue and will probably dual gather herbalism and mining on the priest. I might wait until after Catalcysm to do that one since it'll be a lot easier with flying, and I think I'm already adequately set for leveling the professions on my other toons. We'll see though.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Paladin Healing in 4.0.1

As much as I hate to say it, after spending a few weeks now running heroics as a healer on my druid, shaman and paladin after patch 4.0.1, my paladin may be replacing my druid as my favorite 5-man healer. I know all of you shammies out there are going to quickly tell me that I'm out of my mind - so I'm going to caveat this by saying that my shaman is currently grossly undergeared compared to my other two healers. If his gear was comparable, I might have a completely different feeling.

So it took a little while to get used to the new paladin healing mechanics, but I must say, the more I'm using it, the more I enjoy it now. Pre-patch, I used to Beacon the tank, keep Sacred Shield up on him and then just spam flash of light on the rest of the party. Dropping in the occasional Holy Light if damage got intense. I used Holy Shock very rarely, mostly when there was a lot of party-wide damage and I needed a quick "oh crap" heal.

Now, my approach is completely different. I'm trying to quickly judge which of the dps is not going to figure out not to stand in fire / black puddles, purple goop or whatever and I'm putting the beacon on them. I'm using Holy Shock whenever it is off cooldown to build up Holy Power and am then using Word of Glory on whoever needs it the most at that point (not always the tank). I'm only hitting Holy Light now whenever Infusion of Light procs after a Holy Shock crit. Beyond that, I'm using Flash of Light whenever the damage gets a bit heavy - it's a heavy mana drain, so that probably won't be the best approach later on, but for now, mana isn't even remotely an issue, so it works fine.

For the druid, for some reason I'm finding that none of my heals are hitting quite as hard as they did before. My rejuv ticks have lost just a little something and Nourish isn't the monster it once was. Lifebloom has become a beast though, so I'm using that on the tank a lot more aggressively. Regrowth is also more of an instant heal with a tiny HoT, so I'm using that in place of Nourish a lot if someone is getting low. Wild Growth seems to have gotten a lot more powerful, so I'm trying to use that a lot more, even in a 5 man setting. Oh, and I use Efflorescence a lot, just because it confuses people! My overall complaint with the druid is that I am still a beast at keeping an entire raid up, but the druid seems to have lost something in terms of being able to heal up big damage spikes.

I think my plan for when Cataclysm drops is to leave the warlock on the shelf for a bit and level these three healers first. I'm really anxious to try all of these out in Catalcysm dungeons, so I think they'll be my first ones out of the gate.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Shaman Healing Post Patch

So I tried Shaman healing in heroics for the first time post-patch, and for some reason it all now seems to click with me. I think the addition of Healing Surge as a big fast "oh crap" kind of heal just made a lot of difference for me. And for whatever reason, hitting Healing Wave the rest of the time seemed to work just a little bit better. And whatever mana issues I was having before have completely disappeared.

So, I ran a few helping a friend gear up his hunter and it all seemed to work well. I've also been finishing up the Wrathful set on my warlock - just the belt and boots still to go. I also have been putting off finishing up the last few gathering professions on my various toons, so I really need to focus on that over the next few weeks so I get them finished before December 7th so they're all ready to go for Cataclysm launch.

Also ran the pre-Cataclysm quest chain on my warlock. Was very disappointed that, at least for Horde, the quest chain ended with instructions to go tell Garrosh, because he'll be able to fix it. How about I go tell this sign-post, or that campfire instead. I think that might accomplish more. Or maybe I should enlist Gamon's help - seems like that might accomplish more as well. But Garrosh - please! I'd rather sneak into Stormwind and tell Varian Wynn.