Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Gearing My Main

I finished the shammy within a day or so of my last post and have taken my foot off the gas a bit on leveling my various alts to work on gearing my main - Joar. So, I've been diligently knocking out dailies for Therazane, Tol Barad and Dragonmaw. I went back and ran a few quests through Hyjal to get to revered and pick up the head enchant. And I've been running a heroic or two whenever I can.

It's been much better on the warlock than I was expecting. Having two dependable forms of crowd control makes me a welcome addition to almost any group. And now that people finally seem to understand that these things aren't going to be a cake walk, the extra utility that warlocks can bring also seems to be much appreciated by most groups. Things like Healthstones and Soulstones.

I'm also considering going back and giving healing another shot on my paladin, now that folks have spent enough time in these instances that they have a better understanding that they can't just stand in whatever they want because the healers can't heal through it now.

I also started leveling my shadow priest a bit (I mean come on - I'm still addicted to alts, so I can't give it up entirely!) He's sitting at level 82 and is working his way through Deepholm. After the shadow priest, it will be the Death Knight next, followed by the mage, and then the rogue.

I've also been working on getting my professions a little further along on Joar. Both his tailoring and enchanting are sitting within 10-15 points of max. I've managed to collect about 4 pieces of Dreamcloth as well, so I should be in good shape to craft my first epic as soon as I max it. I've been keeping myself supplied in cheap volatiles for the crafting using my alchemists transmutes, so I'm leveling it slowly, but on the cheap. I'm basically leveling enchanting using whatever greens I pick up while doing dailies or while leveling other toons. So it's also on the cheap, but almost done. I'll have managed to level both of those without spending a dime. So I'm pretty happy with that.

The Death Knight will be my biggest challenge for professions. He's a Blacksmith, and I'm also thinking about trying to level that one without making any auction house purchases. We'll see how that goes.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Hunter Done and Almost There on the Shammy

So I managed to get the hunter to 85 within a day or so of my last post. Total played time for the hunter from 80-85 was right at 24 hours, so not as good as the warlock despite my expectations. No epic flying on the hunter. Not sure if that makes a huge difference, but I guess it could have.

I've been working on the shaman next and have actually been leveling him as enhancement and that has been an enormous amount of fun. Very high survivability and incredible burst damage. Mobs have been going down faster with the shaman than with any other toon so far. I did equip him with two Heavy Geode Mace's, a BoE drop out of Stonecore, that's made him a bit overpowered. They can be purchased on my server for about 150g each and are really an excellent enhancement weapon. Slow, high dps, with hit and expertise.

I very rarely make it all the way through my rotation on this guy. I'll pull with lightning bolt, drop totems, Flame Shock, Storm Strike, Lava Lash, Unleash Elements and maybe Earth Shock if they're still alive. Then pull the next one. Rinse and repeat. Mana is not a problem at all. I have Lightning Shield glyphed so I only have to refresh it every 10 minutes.

I've done a few dungeons on him as well and have found his dps to be very good. I also tend to be pretty popular with the healers - healing stream totem and a few well placed chain heals off of Maelstrom Weapon procs tends to make everyone's life a little bit easier. Combine that with a very nice interrupt and good crowd control, and you've really got a lot of utility that you can bring to an instance.

After then enhancement shaman, I think the shadow priest will be up next.

I also did a few heroics over the weekend on the warlock. Pugging continues to be incredibly frustrating about half the time. I continue to be amazed by how many folks running instances are still not understanding how much of a difference it can make to just take the time to mark pulls and set up crowd control. But, instead of doing that, everyone rushes in, wipes and leaves and spends another 40 minutes waiting in queue.

Had a Throne of the Tides one - warlock and mage in the group. Tank didn't mark on the first trash pull, but the mage and I each CC'd one of the healers in the back. The tank broke the crowd control on both, so the mage and I reapplied, and he broke it again! Mage and I both said in party chat at the beginning of the pull that we'd be cc'ing the healers, so the tank was aware we were doing it (in case the new penguin on the floor wasn't his first clue).

Needless to say, the warriors in the front never went down and we eventually wiped upon which the tank and healer immediately left group leaving the mage and I standing there with bewildered looks on our face. Oh well. Eventually, either people are going to figure this out, or Blizzard is going to realize that their average player base isn't as smart as they give us credit for and either nerf the crap out of everything or start making epics rain from the sky. Probably a little of both.

And sadly enough, that's actually probably fine with me. While I get an incredible sense of accomplishment out of a well executed heroic that takes 2-3 hours to complete, I honestly don't have the time to be doing that on a regular basis. I'm not a big advocate of the 10 minute "gogogogo" chain pull fests either, but there should be something reasonable somewhere in the middle.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Profession and Leveling Status

I'm so close on the hunter. So of course there is maintenance today. Just 5 bars to go, and I'll have my fourth toon at level 85. And it will be happening today. (Unless of course 1/11/11 ends up being the day of eternal maintenance because something about that strangely binary string of date numbers caused Blizzard's servers to inexplicably implode).

So I've been providing a pretty decent string of updates on my leveling progress, but realized that I hadn't really been talking about my professions at all. So quick update on that as well:

My first toon out of the gate, the Paladin, has maxed his Mining skill and is almost there on Jewelcrafting. I'm not in a big hurry on Jewelcrafting since that's really more about acquiring all of the recipes than it is about necessarily getting to max level. All that being said, I'm around 515 or so, so pretty close.

On my Druid, my skinning is maxed (because really, how hard is that?). I've barely even started on leatherworking though. The skinning mats were just selling to well, and I just couldn't see any major benefit to working leatherworking all the way through at this point.

On Joar, he has maxed his cooking and is diligently working on fishing dailies. I'm working on both enchanting and tailoring but both are in the 490 range. Again - no big hurry here.

My hunter has maxed his alchemy, which is a huge money maker for me at this point, and he's getting pretty close on herbalism. The next toon up after the hunter is going to be the shaman. His professions are herbalism and inscription. Not sure I'm going to be in a big hurry on inscription, but we'll see. The Darkmoon cards, as always, are selling really well.

With the hunter, I've been leveling him as beast mastery and it's been extremely easy. My little bear mini-tank can stand up to just about anything. The rotation is very easy and extremely forgiving. There are quite a few cooldowns to keep track of, but if you don't bother with them much while questing, it's really not a big deal. I try to use Bestial Wrath as much as possible along with Focus Fire and that certainly helps speed things along. Leveling as a hunter for me is like running an instance in miniature. Send your "tank" in. Get a HOT rolling on him. Misdirect to him if you're so inclined. Wait for him to build aggro a bit then blow the bad guys away. Rinse and repeat.

The shaman is going to be next, and looking at the various quest rewards, I think it should be fine leveling him as elemental. This whole expansion doesn't seem to be all that wildly friendly to melee classes. The more you can do to make the mob dead before it even gets to you, the better of you'll be at the end of the day. And elemental is all about making things dead fast.

I briefly debated sticking to resto with the Shaman and trying to level him purely through the dungeon finder just to compare the times. I might still go that route, but we'll see.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Level 85 #3

Well - finally managed to get the warlock to level 85 this morning. Very easy to level as affliction - just took a while because of other commitments. The actual leveling time was about two hours faster than the druid, so still improving.

Off to work on the hunter next.