Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Deathwing Down on Toon #5

So I managed to kill the LFR version of Deathwing on my fifth character yesterday, Joarnak, my mage. So that now makes for warlock, death knight, druid, hunter and now mage. I'm working on gearing the rogue for it next, and the paladin won't be far behind, priest likely after that. I've never really healed on the priest, so I'm thinking of giving it a try as either holy or disc. We'll see how that goes.

So the above toons are all obviously over 372 ilvl at this point, since they've been through the raid finder at this point, but here is where everyone else stands:

Joarstab (rogue) 371
Joaridan (pally) 364
Joarvyk (priest) 364
Joarbek (shaman) 348 (say he has 357 in his bags, so I may have gotten something that I just haven't equipped yet)
Joarmama (warrior) 349 (wouldn't have guessed in a million years that he was slightly better equipped than the shaman).

I need to make a new weapon for the warrior in the worst possible way since he's still sporting the Axe of Earthly Sundering from Deepholm. But I should be able to craft him up something nice, which should make a huge difference. A nice set of JP bracers should make a huge difference for the shaman. Neither of those are geared enough for the hour of twilight heroics yet, so the key is going to be acquiring or crafting enough stuff for both to push them over the edge for those, then just keep running those until enough drops that they can do LFR. Shouldn't be too bad.

While the rogue is at 371, there's really a ton of PvP gear going into that calculation, so I really won't be looking to jump into LFR until I've replaced a lot more of the PvP gear. I don't want to be "That Guy". Although heck, combat is so good these days, I'm already just about outdpsing my 381 ilvl warlock.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

New Goals for LFR

So this past weekend, I was able to do full runs of LFR and kill Deathwing on 4 different toons. While I had a few groups that were a bit of a struggle, on a general basis, most of the groups were pretty decent.

On top of these 4 toons, I've got two more toons that are close to being geared enough to run LFR. Given that I've never before killed an end-boss during the actual patch for that boss, I've really enjoyed the LFR process.

One goal that I'm thinking about setting for myself is to kill Deathwing on all 10 of my level 85's before the expansion hits. This would be the most challenging on the warrior, who's gear is pretty bad at this point, but can be quickly supplemented with BoE JP gear from other toons, at least to get him to the point where he can start running the new Hour of Twilight instances.

I'd also like to switch the shaman from enhance to elemental given the gear drops that I've seen, but not sure how easy that would be to do.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Initial Thoughts on New 5 Mans and LFR

So over the course of this weekend, I managed to complete all three of the new 5 man dungeons on 5 of my different characters as well as getting valor capped on all five of those characters. That just boggles my mind. Given that I'm not a serious raider, I very rarely get valor capped on any character, much less 5 in one week. Gearing this patch is going to be much easier than it has been.

I was also lucky with some 5 man drops on 2 of those 5 toons and managed to get their iLvL up enough to run the Raid Finder version of Dragon Soul. I found the raid to be very enjoyable on both toons. In both cases, we wiped a couple of times, but managed to finish all four of the new bosses in under two hours. For me, that's perfect.

I didn't manage to get any gear at all on the warlock, but on the death knight, I got two pieces of tier gear. Imagine my excitement at that! During the last patch, it took me the entire patch cycle to accumulate two pieces of tier gear, so to get that within the first few days really felt great.

So needless to say, I'm enjoying the new raid finder. The Darkmoon Faire has been interesting, but not enough to distract my attention from the new dungeons. I enjoy the new profession quests and those have been good for my engineer, who still isn't quite done. But beyond that, I think I'm just beyond caring about new pets or mounts.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Feisty Return of Destro

So I've been playing my lock as demo for the last few weeks, mostly for the fun of popping Meta on trash packs and Immo Aura and Hellfiring everything in site to death. It's just big happy demon fun. As someone who has played destro since the end of BC, it's been very frustrating how poorly it has performed in 4.2.

So I'm very anxious to see how things go today with the buffs to destro in 4.3. All news from the PTR so far has been positive, so my imp will be returning to the light of day, and Joar will be roaming back on the path of fiery death.

Immediate plans are to work through the new 5-mans on 4 or 5 different toons and try to prep for doing some serious LFR work this weekend. We'll see how that goes!

My alchemists are all prepped with a nice supply of mats for epic gem transmutes as well, so hopefully it'll be a profitable first few days of the patch.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bye Theramore! Your Quests Sucked Anyway

So the debate that has been going on about the constant abuse the Alliance has been taking at the hands of the Horde has been pretty interesting for me given that I'm leveling my first Alliance character from 1-60. He's almost there, having hit 53 yesterday. If I didn't have so many other things I was messing with, including gearing my Horde toons, making gold on my Horde toons and leveling my Rift mage, I'd probably have 3 or 4 Alliance toons to 60 by now. But as it is, I'm lumbering along with just this one.

I've been leveling this toon through Kalimdor rather than Eastern Kingdoms. He's a Night Elf, so it was just easier to stay where I was. I've really been enjoying all the redone zones - there are some great stories being told. The one exception to that was Dustwallow. The quests through there were the same ones that I remember running 10 different times on my Horde toons. So not only have they not been updated, but they're not even different for Alliance. Sure there were a few available in Theramore itself, but they weren't particularly interesting.

So sure. Nuke the place. Leave all of Dustwallow in flames. Re do it like you did the other zones to make it more interesting. I'm willing to start an Alliance insurgency based in a corner of Dustwallow, plotting a counterattack against the Horde. Remember Theramore!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

120 Loot Filled Pumpkins

And no freaking mount. I had a break of a few days over the course of Hallows End where I didn't have Internet access and wasn't able to play, but the end result at the end of the holiday was I picked up 120 Loot Filled Pumpkins across my 10 level 85 characters and didn't manage to get the Headless Horseman's mount. I have countless Hallowed Helms and Sinister Squashlings and a few swords, but not a single mount. The frustrations of RNG.

I also finally managed to finish leveling the professions on my priest and so now have a second transmute spec alchemist that will be available for epic gem transmutes come Patch 4.3. They're both stocked up with a decent supply of what I suspect are going to be the mats for the transmutes.

I've also been working on leveling my alliance hunter and have been able to get him to level 45. This is my first time leveling through Thousand Needles post-Cataclysm and I must say I've really enjoyed what they've done with the zone. The fact that the quest progression in Dustwallow Marsh had not really changed at all was a bit disappointing, but Thousand Needles has more than made up for that. My plan is to get this character to 60 and then park him in Outland waiting for the Outland / Northrend leveling nerf that is supposed to hit with the next patch.

Assuming I'll be able to get him those last 15 or so levels before the patch hits, I'm debating which toon to work on next. I'm pretty sure I want it to be someone on the Eastern Kingdoms side of things, so I'm sort of leaning toward the gnome mage, but I might consider the paladin as well.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mists of Pandaria - Impact on Leveling

I've gone back to leveling my alliance toons a bit.  I keep thinking I'd like to get at least one, if not more of my alliance characters to 85, especially given the emphasis that the new expansion seems to be placing on the conflict between Alliance and Horde, I'm really hoping for some difference in content through MoP for the two factions - certainly more than we saw in Cataclysm where it was mostly limited to a few quests in Twilight Highlands.

I've put leveling the Death Knight on hold until 4.3 rolls around to take advantage of the reduced leveling time through Northrend.  So in the meantime, I'll try to get as many of my alliance toons to Outland as I can.  It may not be more than one, but we'll see.

As a casual player, I was very interested to see what would be out there for me in the new expansion.  I certainly like the idea of a new race and class to play, although I'm hoping Blizzard follows through with the idea of opening up more slots on any given server so I can continue to have one of each class on a particular server.

I think the new talent system will actually make leveling a little bit easier since it will reduce the points at which a decision needs to be made during the process.  It seemed like at each phase, the decision you will be facing will be more impacted by your personal style and how you'd like to level rather than the need to pick any particular talent at each stage in order to be able to level effectively.

No longer having to train for spells will also be a huge time saver.  Right now, in the quest path from 1-60 especially, there really aren't any points where you need to return to a major city anymore, so I can often end up going quite a while without picking up a new spell.  Eliminating that will help a great deal.  The only downside to this approach that I could see is if you're trying to level a profession at the same time, you'll have to return anyway.  Scattering profession trainers throughout the world would help a lot with that.

I think the simplification of the weapons slots for various classes will also make the decision making on gear while leveling much more straightforward.  Hopefully, Blizzard is able to take the time to tweak the quest rewards while leveling a bit to make sure there are enough wands and ranged weapons available for the classes that will now need those more.

Finally, the elimination of minimum range for hunters will make a class that already levels quickly even more formidable.  Combine that with the ability to designate any pet as tenacity, ferocity or cunning, and you should be able to grab any pet you want and make it do what you need.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Add On for Death Knight DPS

For those of you that like to DPS on your Death Knights, I just recently discovered a nice little add on that has helped a lot with my rotation, particularly on boss fights, and has had a pretty noticeable increase on my DPS. The add on is called CLC DK and is available on and Wowinterface.

It functions very much like Shock and Awe, and addon that has been used by enhance shammies for quite a while. It basically suggests the spell to use next based on priority rankings right in front of you on your screen. It also provides a better graphical tracking of your runes and can help track various cooldowns including Pillar of Frost.

If you haven't used it, I'd urge you to give it a try. The only downsides is it seems focused particularly on single target, so it's not necessarily prompting you to hit pestilence to spread your diseases. I also haven't figured out a way to get it to incorporate Blood Tap or Empower Rune Weapon in its suggestions, but I'm thinking I might just be missing that at this point.

Ah - Fresh Meat!

So I love Hallows End. And not just because it has another quick and easy mini-boss with a chance to drop nice shinies. I fully expect this to be the second consecutive holiday where I get every nice shiny item possible on every toon except my main. That's the risk you run being an altoholic I guess.

No, my real reason for my intense love of Hallows End has to do with the number of resilienceless players flocking to the battlegrounds to get those honorable kills for the world event achievement. Yum. Fresh meat in da house. Easy kills, standing out in the open, just waiting for me to frost bolt them, slide my dagger in their back and then set them on fire. OK, that might have all been on different toons, but it's still all fun.

It looks like there are no less than 3 new pets that can be obtained this year from Hallows End. A Creepy Crate that's obtainable at the end of a quest line that starts in the Inn in Orgrimmar. Then there are two that are purchasable with the Tasty Treats that drop from the boss each day and that can be obtained from completing quests and from trick or treating at pumpkins in various cities.

Besides getting started on Hallows End, I've mostly been working on professions on my last two toons that don't have them - my priest and my warrior. I've started leveling herbalism and alchemy on the priest and currently have them both in the 400's. I picked those two to have the extra daily transmute cooldown - either for epic gems, truegold as well as living elements. All are nice money makers for me, but I'm expecting epic gems to be a nice money maker after the next patch drops.

I'm currently debating whether to do the same thing on my warrior or whether to just pick up two gathering professions to feed the others. If that is the route, it'll likely be mining and skinning as those seemed to be the two where I was running short early in Cata for leveling my crafters.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Bit of a Pause

Not much to report lately. Things have been very busy at work, so my play time has been very limited. I've mostly been running instances on my death knight working on gearing him the rest of the way for PvE via 5 mans. He did manage to get his first piece of T12 the other day which was very exciting.

I've continued to do a decent amount of PvP and the mage and warlock are both in full Vicious now. I'll probably be working on the shaman and the priest next.

I'm also closing in on the 60,000 HK mark across all my toons which is pretty exciting.

I haven't been doing much Rift at all lately. WoW seems to have grabbed my attention again at least for now. Maybe it's all this talk of 4.3.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

More Rift Leveling

On the World of Warcraft front, I've continued to run Coren Direbrew every day with the hopes of getting one of the mounts for my warlock. I've literally had one of the stupid mounts drop on all 9 of my other level 85's at this point, but so far nothing for Joar - the only toon on which I actually collect mounts. Oh well. RNG at its finest.

Beyond that, I haven't been doing much on the WoW front other than the occasional battleground or 5 man. I was toying with restarting leveling my alliance toons, but with the impending nerf to Northrend leveling, it seemed better to wait. I have started working on professions on my last two toons that don't currently have any. I'm likely going to do herbalism and alchemy on both just to have three sets of transmute cooldowns to work with.

On Rift, I've started focusing more on trying to get my Mage to max level before I pick up with my Cleric again. I did manage to run my first dungeon on the mage. Imagine my surprise when my queue actually popped while leveling. So I did a nice easy Kings Breach run. Didn't have anything that I could use drop, or get anything particularly good from the chest, but it was still a lot of fun, and really decent xp as near as I could tell.

So the mage is sitting at level 34 and getting ready to head to Moonshade Highlands.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

WoW PvP and More Rift

So spent a big chunk of the weekend doing more PvP on WoW. My mage and my rogue are now almost completely geared out. I think once the two of those are done, I might start to focus more on Rift while waiting for the next patch.

On Rift, I've been a bit more focused on the mage lately, rather than the cleric, and have now gotten the mage to level 31. I'm finding the warlock / necromancer combo to have a lot of survivability and almost no downtime from a leveling standpoint. I'm currently rolling through Scarwood Reach, having finished Scarlet Gorge a little before I thought I would. I think I probably abandoned Gloamwoods a bit to early.

In any case, the leveling process has been pretty straightforward so far. The story line through each zone is pretty decent and each individual zone tends to have a culminating event type quest and story line that's very similar to the way WoW has redone many of the new early level zones.

My only major issue continues to be ease of transport between zones. It looks like so far that there is only one city in each zone with a "portcullis" that allows faster transport between cities. So there's no easy way to get between major bases in each zone. Also, while in the earlier zones like Silverpines, there were calling trainers in that same major city, that doesn't appear to be the case anymore, so it requires heading back to one of the major cities to train new spell levels every few levels.

So far, incorporating leveling through dungeon queue's doesn't seem to be particularly feasible given the incredibly long queue lengths - typically well over an hour, unless you sign up for healing or tanking. All that being said, it has still been an enjoyable leveling process overall. My goal here is to get a character of each calling to max level before the release of SWTOR. We'll see how that goes.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Leveling on Rift

In addition to doing a lot of PvP on my various characters, I've also picked up Rift recently and have been playing that pretty extensively. As you can imagine, as an altoholic, having 4 new "callings", two new factions and lots of new zones to quest through, on top of new dungeons, new warfronts and lots of other things to explore has me pretty engaged at this point.

So far, I've managed to level a Guardian Mage to 26 (running as a Necromancer/Warlock/Chloromancer combo) and also managed to get a Defiant Cleric to 25 (running as Justicar / Shaman / Druid).

There are a number of things that Rift seems to be doing really well at this point. First, every calling has at least one soul that includes a pet, which makes leveling certainly faster and easier. On top of this, 3 of the 4 callings have souls that include healing abilities. I'll caveat this by saying that I haven't played a warrior much at this point, so I'm not as familiar with the abilities of this calling. If there's a warrior soul out there with significant self healing, I'd really appreciate the info.

The interface and the questing system seems pretty intuitive and the zones are really well laid out so far. One of the things that I definitely miss from the redesigned WoW is all the flight paths. Basically, in Rift there is one major town in each zone that includes a portcullis that will teleport you to the major town in another zone that you've visited. Some of the zones are quite big and this can make travel a bit of a hassle. On the positive, you can get a mount very early on which helps a lot.

The various Rifts and zone events also help break up some of the routine of questing, providing fun things to do in a group, and decent rewards. The only downside to some of these events is if you're on a server where groups don't tend to rally to defeat the events, you can find the NPC's that you need for quests wiped out by invasions for a decent period of time. It can be a hassle if you're just trying to quest and do your thing.

On the WoW front, I've also rediscovered the joy of PvP on my shadow priest, so he's been getting a little extra love these days. I've been trying to do more on my Shaman, but just having a lot of trouble finding a PvP spec that I enjoy. He might be destined to be the one character under 1,000 honorable kills.

Friday, September 16, 2011

PvP Progress

As I described back in June, I really enjoy PvP on basically all of my toons. It's really just a matter of finding the spec and play style that I enjoy, but I really find that just about all of them have something interesting to offer in the PvP environment. And for an altoholic, it's often much easier to continue to play across a wide range of toons than it would be to raid on a large variety of toons.

I hit the magical 25,000 HK mark on my warlock recently and also passed 5,000 HK's on the mage, both significant milestones since my last update. I've also been spending a lot more time on the rogue lately and he's moving up the rankings of my toons from a total kills perspective.

I've decided one thing that I need to focus on is getting everyone into the four digit category, so will likely be playing a bit more on the warrior and the shammy in order to get them both over 1,000. I'd really like to heal on the shammy instead of going as enhance, but unfortunately, I just don't have the gear for it. My try to do some auction house gearing though to see how I can do.

Here is where I currently stand on all the toons:

Warlock 25,006 HK's
Druid 8,058
Death Knight 6,332
Mage 5,261
Paladin 3,636
Rogue 2,402
Priest 2,281
Hunter 2,253
Shaman 555
Warrior 361

Total 56,145

If the Ruthless set will be the last set purchasable for honor before the next expansion, I'd really like to get all of these toons to the point that they were in full Ruthless beforehand, but that's a pretty ambitious goal. Right now the warlock is the only one in full honor gear, with the mage and rogue close behind. So we'll see. It's not like I've never set ambitious goals in the past.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Balance Around 5 Mans?

It's clearly impossible for Blizzard to appropriately balance all of the classes around all of the various possible endgame activities. They struggle enough just with balancing things between arenas and raiding. My experience with my Death Knight over the last few weeks has made me wish that a little bit more attention might be paid to balancing the classes a little more evenly around the casual player that just likes to run the occasional 5 man instance.

Maybe the issue is that I just shouldn't be concerned with dps meters in 5 mans, as long as the dps is good enough and we're getting through everything, why should I care. But it bothers me.

I've been playing my warlock a long time. I would say I'm fairly skilled at playing a destruction warlock in a PvE environment. Even when the talent tree fairy moves things to the point where destruction is significantly behind affliction in theoretical output (as most would argue it is now) I'm still able to get significantly higher DPS out of my destruction spec than I am as affliction. There is a degree of muscle memory and inate understanding of the right things to do at certain times.

So I find it frustrating, that on my death knight - a character that I have played seriously in instances for about 2 weeks, I am not only able to eek out slightly higher dps than my warlock (who is better geared) - I'm able to embarrassingly crush the warlock. It isn't even close. On test dummies, in instances, while AFK in front of the auction house, my death knight is able to generate dps that is about 25% higher than my better geared warlock and massively more practiced.

As a caveat, I'm not talking about an enormous difference in gear levels here - it's about a 400 point different in GearScore and about a 4-5 point difference in average item level. The item level difference is less than you might think given the GearScore difference, but that's because I've still got one PvP item and one tanking item that I'm using on the death knight.

Not sure there is much that could be done about it since balancing things around 5 mans would then likely create offsetting imbalance at the raiding level. But it would sure help my poor warlocks self-esteem.

At least the death knight doesn't bring cookies and crowd control!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Some Serious Death Knight Love

So I've been running quite a few instances on my death knight lately. I finally gave up on the idea of trying to be an effective tank with him - it's just not in my genes or something. Instead, I managed to pick up a pair of cheap Gurubashi Punishers on the auction house and respeced to dual wield frost and it was off to the Chaos Orb collecting races.

I must say, I have really been enjoying it. I've been able to do really competitive dps with some pretty bad gear - starting off with 4 or 5 pieces of tank gear and 4 or 5 pieces of PvP gear. I've been able to replace about half of that it this point with Justice Point purchases and have enough orbs at this point to upgrade at least one of my weapons. Just waiting on my alchemist to finish up the Truegold for me. Unfortunately, I'm still way to cheap to just go buy the stuff on the auction house.

I managed to do 4 full troll heroics over the weekend without a single piece of gear dropping for me - although all I was really hoping for was the helm off the panther boss and the shoulders off of Daakara. I still need to grab the T11 chest piece for Justice Points and the Justice Point cloak (since I was brilliant enough to pick up the tanking cloak from the Thrall questline), but then should be in pretty good shape for rolling on the DK.

I also managed to grab the T12 chest piece on the warlock this past week as well. Just running for fun on the lock at this point. Might try a few instances as affliction and demonology. I've been playing destro so long, it just feels like it's likely to be more competitive for me because of the muscle memory.

So, with all that in place, I might work on running stuff on the priest next. I still need to unlock the Molten Front dailies on the priest - he's the last character that hasn't done the requisite quests in Hyjal. It would be good to at least get the necklace if not unlocking the rest of the vendors. He's already got an epic belt and boots and should be able to pick up a set of legs pretty cheap.

So that's been the story of the last week. I also managed to get the Alliance Death Knight to 71, but have been spending a lot more time than normal running instances on my Horde toons.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

On to Northrend!

My alliance death knight made it to Northrend during this past week. This is the first time I've worked on leveling an alliance toon through Northrend and the differences are pretty interesting. the alliance definitely seem much more upbeat about things once you hit the shores of Borean Tundra than the Horde were. Valiance Keep is also a much nicer place than Warsong Hold - although you definitely feel more like an attacking army at war over in Warsong Hold.

I've also been working through Molten Front dailies on most of my toons. I have now completed the Molten Front on two characters - my warlock and my hunter - and am very close to having them done on the death knight. I've also started to finish up the quests in Hyjal needed to unlock them on my shaman. Once that is done, it'll just be the priest that still needs to unlock them.

I've been debating running some dungeons as dps on my death knight just to collect some Chaos Orbs. He's my max blacksmith, and it's just become very apparent to me that I just don't enjoy tanking. I'm not a huge fan of melee dps either, but seems like that's an easier route to accumulating Orbs since it's apparent they're not going to become BoA or tradable anytime real soon.

So for now, I'm trying to balance working on Molten Front dailies with leveling my alliance death knight. So we'll see how that goes.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Early Levels Breeze By!

So I'm still cranking out my Molten Front dailies on my Horde toons, and still ran a ton of dungeons this past weekend on both my warlock and my druid. I also tried tanking for a bit on my son's fairly well geared Death Knight tank. Yep. Still don't really like tanking. Not sure why I bother even trying every so often. Just a waste of gold and time.

In any case, I've also been working on those alliance toons that I mentioned earlier. The early levels really fly by (duh) so even without heirlooms, I managed to get a ton of levels done last week without dedicating a whole lot of time.

Here is where we stand as of today:

Death Knight - level 65
Druid - level 10
Hunter - level 30
Mage - level 10
Paladin - level 7 (and probably up next!)
Priest - level 10
Rogue - level 13
Shaman - level 10
Warlock - level 13
Warrior - level 12

That's a total of 24 levels since last week. Granted, those are almost all the absolute easiest possible levels, so that's an almost completely meaningless number for a week. But I'll take it anyway.

I'm also very close to having the Molten Front dailies fully complete on a second toon - my Hunter. They're still under way on both the Death Knight, Paladin and Druid. I still need to do enough questing in Hyjal to unlock them on both the Shaman and Shadow Priest, and might just do those two next after I finish those last three. So we'll see. At some point, I'm likely to have had enough of Molten Front dailies and switch to leveling my alliance toons exclusively. We'll have to see.

But today, with maintenance underway, I'm off to play a little RIFT.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Back to Leveling?

So I'm very close to accomplishing most of the goals that I set out for myself after hitting 85 on character #10. At that point, I was mostly looking to finish leveling my remaining professions, work on getting my main to exalted with the guild, finish gearing a few more toons and work on making some gold.

The addition of the Molten Front dailies have added yet more for me to do, so at this point, I'm starting to lose interest in all of it. I could still potentially work on gearing the shammy, warrior and rogue a bit more, but I've gotten to the point that the frustrations of the groups that I get through the dungeon finder tool generally outweigh the time invested.

So I'm debating switching back into the leveling game and moving on from just having 10 characters at max level and try to go for 20 by the time the next expansion hits. The plan is that having done a Horde character of each class, I would then switch and try to do an Alliance character of each class.

I've already started to set this up as you may have noted from my sidebar. So here is where I stand on the Alliance front:

Gnome Death Knight - level 65
Night Elf Hunter - level 30
Worgen Warlock - level 13
Dwarf Warrior - level 12
Gnome Mage - level 8
Dwarf Paladin - level 7
Human Priest - level 7
Draenei Shaman - level 7
Night Elf Druid - level 6
Worgen Rogue - not yet started.

So that's the collection. That's 155 total levels with 850 to go, which would take 695 levels between now and the next expansion. If I generally average a level per day, that's probably not happening, but it might be interesting to try. If I guesstimate the next expansion at 12/15/2012, that's 501 days, so 1.4 levels per day.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

You Can Go Crazy With These

For some reason, it seems like Blizzard has done a much better job this time around of promoting some degree of immersion with the new Firelands / Molten Front dailies. As a serious altoholic, this can obviously result in spending huge blocks of time doing nothing but dailies. With 14 dailies quests per day from the Molten Front once you have everything unlocked, across 10 different level 85 alts, that works out to a whole ton of quests.

For those of you doing the math at home, that also works out to a ton of gold. Fortunately, I hadn't progressed far enough in Mt. Hyjal to have unlocked the dailies on all of my toons. At this point, there are two more that I need to quest on in order to unlock it - priest and shaman. I find with a decently geared level 85, it can be done in about an hour or two, so it's not a huge investment in time.

I'm also not progressing at the same pace on all of my toons. My warlock and my hunter are the furthest along with my death knight and paladin not far behind. I just managed to unlock them on the druid yesterday and am off to the races on that toon. Have not really started at all on the mage, rogue or warrior.

I'm also finding more than ever that there are plenty of things for me to do in the game - whether it is working on PvP on my warlock or mage, running heroics, working on dailies, leveling professions or even dipping into a little bit of raiding.

My guild is currently 2/7 in the new Firelands raid and invited me in for a few tries on Rhyolith the other evening. Very interesting encounter. It's a great fight for a destro warlock given the burst that I'm able to unleash on the legs to bring some quick turns. Getting used to "steering" a boss presents a bit of a challenge, but we learned quite a bit on a series of tries. We didn't actually get him down while I was there, but learned enough that the guild was able to get him down a couple of nights later.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

50K Honorable Kills

If only it was on one toon.

As someone who is obviously a severe altoholic, I rarely play any one toon with enough intensity and commitment to get those large numerical achievements on any of my toons. So to make up for that, I tend to track their accomplishments as a group.

I just recently passed the 50,000 honorable kill mark across my ten toons, which is something that I'm particularly proud of. I've continued to do a lot of PvP. I managed to get some decent gear for my priest before the patch dropped today, although nowhere close to getting him into full Bloodthirsty.

Here are the numbers as of patch day for each of my characters:

Joar - 22,423
Joarwyn - 8,058
Joardk - 6,273
Joarnak - 4,206
Joaridan - 3,333
Joarvyk - 2,281
Joarshot - 2,040
Joarstab - 1,240
Joarbek - 555
Joarmama - 213

Total - 50,622

Halfway to the 100,000 mark!

Thursday, June 16, 2011


I've been going back and forth lately between PvP on my warlock and on my mage. I must say, the extreme control that comes with being a frost mage in some ways have me leaning more that direction than towards the warlock. I've just been having a lot more fun with the mage.

I've also been messing around with a variety of my other toons on the PvP front trying to figure out who to gear next. My warlock is in full bloodthirsty and is honor capped for the patch. The mage is also full bloodthirsty and is about a quarter of the way to the cap.

So, I've been debating who to work on next. I've been messing around off and on with the hunter, feral druid, resto druid, warrior, frost death knight. Also been wondering about either enhance or resto shammy or possible disc or shadow priest. Needless to say, nothing is really speaking to me and I can't decide who to focus on gearing next. Normally, with my propensity for ranged, I would say either hunter or shadow priest next. I tried the hunter a bit and it really wasn't speaking to me. Might give the shadow priest a bit of a spin next and see how it goes.

I also had a couple of really fun runs with the new warrior, so even though I tend to be fairly melee averse, I might actually go that way next. This is the extreme downside of being a leveling addict, is once you've got all those toons to 85, it becomes quite perplexing figuring out who to play next. Of course, it always gives you the option to mess around with everyone just a little bit, which is sort of what I've been doing. I even dished up a nice subtlety spec for my rogue, who is normally just my bank alt and played around with him for a few. Also incredibly fun.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Or I Could Do Some PvP...

So I set out a few things in my last post that I wanted to work on next having achieved my goal of a level 85 of each class. So yeah - haven't really done much of that. Instead, I've been spending a lot of time on PvP on both my warlock and my mage. My warlock now has a complete set of Bloodthirsty PvP gear and is really a complete pain in the neck in BG's. (You can just hear the allies going "#$@#$ Fear...somebody kill that @#$#@ warlock....Feared Again! @#$$#@...will somebody get him..")

I've also been working on gearing my frost mage who must be equally frustrating. The main thing with the mage, is unlike my warlock, I don't tend to run any dungeons on the mage, so he doesn't really have a decent weapon. So I've been working on Tol Barad dailies to get the staff from there. Just a day or two away. And then I should be a complete pain.

I did manage to get the Shaman geared enough to run troll dungeons, and I did run a few normals on my fresh 85 warrior - enough to realize that I don't really enjoy running dungeons on the warrior all that much. I think I'm just not much of a melee person at heart really.

I've also been working on finishing leveling both my leatherworking and blacksmithing. It's slow going as I'm too cheap to just buy the mats that I need to finish them up. I did manage to get both of them to 500 though, so just those last 25 points to go.

Then I'll finish up engineering on the rogue, which is sitting at a much less respectable 464.

Joar finally did get to honored with the new guild, which enabled him to finally purchase the fish feast recipe that he's been wanting.

On the PvP front, I'm closing in on the 25,000 HK mark on Joàr. He's sitting at 21,902 right now. I also captured a flag for the first time in WSG the other day and was quite surprised that I'd never done it before. So, first flag capture in the 60th battle per my statistics page.

I'm also approaching the 50,000 HK mark across all my 10 toons - sitting at a total of 46,095 right now. I may also try a little bit of PvP on the rogue, but we'll see.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ding! Level 85 #10! Mission Accomplished

So I managed to hit 85 on my goblin warrior this morning giving me a level 85 of each class. My total played time to 85 was 3 days, 23 hours, which is just amazing to me given it used to take over 6 days just to get to 80. Heck, 3 days, 23 hours would have been a record setting time to 60 back in the day.

My total time for the Cataclysm stretch was about 20 hours, so not a huge improvement over any of my other toons.

So for now, the immediate objectives are:

  • Finish the last 3 professions that I don't already have maxed.
  • Work on guild rep on Joar
  • Finish gearing the shammy and then switch to focusing on gearing either the priest, warrior or rogue.
  • Maybe spend a bit more time focusing on the gold making game.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Closing in on Completion

So it's started to bug me not having this last toon to 85. After all, that has been my stated goal for so long, it seems silly to put it off, so I've been focusing a little bit more on leveling my warrior. He hit 84 last night and now just has the slog through Twilight Highlands to finish hopefully within the next day or two.

I've also been working on gearing my shammy. I've been doing it the old fashion way - initially grinding out regular instances and rep dailies and such until I have enough gear to qualify for heroics - which I just hit.

I could afford to buy a few epics to instantly gear him, but why bother?

So with the shaman now geared for heroics, I now have 3 toons that are raid geared, 7 that are geared for heroics, 1 that is PvP geared (and would qualify for heroics based purely on iLvL) and two that I will still need to gear up - my rogue and my warrior once he finally hits 85. And I may actually work on those. Why not?

I've also done a little bit of raiding on my warlock. My guild is doing pretty well from a progression standpoint and invited me into some raids a week or so ago. Oddly enough, my first Cataclysm raid boss down was Ascendant Council!

On the same weekend, I also managed to get Magmaw, Omnotron, Maloriak and Chimera down but we weren't quite able to get Atramedes down. I was lagging like crazy at that point which didn't work well with the strategy we were using.

All in all, it was a fun time, and nice to go from 0 to 5/12 almost instantly!

So after getting the warrior to 85, I need to finish maxing the rest of my professions - Leatherworking, Blacksmithing and Engineering. I also want to finish getting Joar to exalted with my guild so I can get the stylin' new mounts. Beyond that, it'll just be working on continuing to gear the various toons!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What a Long Strange Trip...Violet Awesomeness!

So after 3 years of trying, I finally managed to get the School of Hard Knocks achievement finished on Joàr, which was the last piece of the meta that I needed. A huge thank you to Scariteri from Sisters of Elune, who let me cap the flag in Eye of the Storm giving me the very last piece that I needed!

So I sat in Org on my new Violet Proto-Drake for about 10 minutes really enjoying it, before switching back to my much more sleek flying carpet and going about my normal business, albeit at a much brisker pace.

I've also now been working on leveling my warrior through the new Cataclysm content - grant very slowly. He just hit level 81, so I'm on my way back to Org to figure out what this Colossus Smash thing is all about.

I also spent a few days working on gearing my hunter for the new ZA/ZG heroics, which took a lot less time than I thought it would. I've also been gearing up my frost mage for PvP and he's now got 3 of the 5 core pieces.

I'm thinking about working on gearing up the shammy next after I finish getting the warrior to 85. I might work on finishing up those last couple of professions a bit as well.

So, that's the update for this week!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Speed to 80

So I managed to hit 80 on my goblin warrior the other day. My total played time to 80 was 3 days, 6 hours. Just slightly more than half the time of my previous best. Really amazing how much they've improved the leveling speed. Obviously guild xp bonuses and two more pieces of BoA gear also make a substantial difference.

So now I shed 3 pieces of BoA and continue on through the Cataclysm content. I'm curious to see if I come in significantly better than my previous record which was around 22 hours played from 80-85.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Pugging ZA/ZG

So I spent a ridiculous amount of time this weekend running the new Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman instances. It was generally just myself and my son and for a couple of them we had one other guild member joining us, but the rest of the group was generally pugged.

I also did pugs of both instances at least once all by myself. With a couple of exceptions, I was really surprised by how smoothly things went almost every time.

The first clear that I did of ZA on Tuesday night was a complete pug, and we wiped numerous times while we all worked on figuring out the mechanics, but everyone stuck with it for the entire time until we finally managed to get that last boss down.

It restored my faith in the LFD tool a bit to have a really good PUG group that communicated well, talked things through, was patient and just generally did a great job.

All told, I'm enjoying the two new instances a lot. I haven't tried running them on my paladin yet as I'm not entirely sure he's quite well geared enough for them. He is over the minimum iLvL by about 5 points, but I did a few runs with my son on his holy pally, and he's raid geared and was still struggling with mana. So I'm a bit hesitant.

I'm also considering focusing a bit more on gearing up my hunter. I purchased a few crafted epics for him and am keeping my eye out for a better weapon on the AH. I'm hoping within the next week or so to get him geared enough to start running the new instances on him as well. He's currently sitting about 3 or 4 points short and I'm not one to try to cheat it by putting a cheap tanking cloak or something in my bags.

I've also continued to level the warrior who is at level 79 and about 4 bars from hitting 80 and heading to the Cataclysm zones. Tons of fun on the warrior.

Finally, I've also been working on the School of Hard Knocks achievement on my warlock. It's the one last one that I need for the meta. I managed to get 3 of the 4 battlegrounds knocked out yesterday and am going to work on the last one - Eye of the Storm - until I get it.

My son has agreed to come along on his holy pally to pocket heal for me to help me get there!

So, all in all, a lot to do in game and I'm enjoying all of it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Rambling On

So, my goal of having a toon of each class to level 85 before the next expansion seems to be very much attainable at this point. With 9 toons already there and my 10th toon at level 76, I have 9 levels to go. If the next expansion is coming in somewhere around 18 months from now, that means I need to knock out a level every 2 months.

I think I can handle that.

So, given the complete lack of pressure there, I've been spending more time working on some of m other toons. Mostly running dailies for rep and running the daily heroic - both on my warlock and on my paladin. Both are currently geared well enough that running heroics on either of them is a breeze. They are also both geared enough that they'll be able to get into the new/old troll instances later today after maintenance is done!

So, now I'm debating which toon to work on gearing next. I'm debating between priest, hunter and death knight. The hunter and priest are actually both already geared enough for heroics. It's really just a matter of finishing the various rep grinds and getting them both to the point where they have all the JP gear they need.

I may give the priest a try as a holy 5 man healer. My complete inability to get the hang of the druid does make me want to try one of the other healing classes. I've never really done anything with the priest, so that intrigues me a bit.

I've also somewhat debated putting the shammy in that group and trying to gear him up as enhancement. I've never been a big fan of melee, but I definitely enjoyed the shammy while leveling, so I'm tempted to give it a try.

At the end of the day, I may give tanking a bit of a try on the death knight, and after I've tortured myself sufficiently, switch back over to the priest.

Most of the heroics that I've done recently through the dungeon finder have been pretty smooth - mostly due to the fact that people now understand the instances pretty well and also are finally at the point where they outgear them. You still get the occasional wipe, but it is no where near as bad as it was.

The speed leveling warrior is sitting in Zul'Drak and is pretty close to hitting 77, so I may be running a bit ahead of my "once every two months" schedule.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Breezing Through Northrend

In between running dailies and heroics on my paladin and my warlock, I'm still occasionally working on leveling my warrior. He is breezing through Northrend with ease. I'm working him through Grizzly Hills at the moment, where he just recently hit 75. Northrend really does seem to go quite a bit faster with the bonus to leveling speed as well as a couple of additional pieces of BoA.

I'm also about a day or two away from hitting exalted with Dragonmaw on my paladin which will hook him up with a nice new epic necklace for his healing set and a nice new set of boots for his ret / questing set. He's also pretty close to exalted with Hellscream, but he's going to need quite a few more commendations in order to get his epic trinket. I'm not in a huge rush on that, as he's got two good jewelcrafter trinkets equipped right now that seem to do the trick nicely. After that, I just need to finish getting to exalted with Ramkahen for some stylin new boots and then it'll just be working on the daily each day.

On the warlock, he's basically just in the daily heroic for valor points mode. I'm just a couple of days away from getting the T11 chest, and after that will be working towards the cloak and a ring.

Beyond that, I'm starting to think about which toon to gear next - still debating between the hunter and the shadow priest. The druid for some reason still runs hot and cold for me in terms of whether I find it completely irritating running heroics on him. Not sure why. I may have just gotten spoiled with the paladin having the huge heals to keep the tank up, that having slightly better AoE just doesn't seem to compensate much.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Northrend Ho

First off, sorry about the lack of posts in a while. Things have been extremely busy at work. I've resumed focus on gearing up my warlock and my paladin. The return to prominence of my druid was extremely short lived. Despite all the AoE, the lack of a truly monster heal just made me miss my paladin too much. And now that all the dps are learning what stuff they shouldn't be standing in, there seem to be relatively few encounters where I really need a huge AoE heal.

I've also been working a little bit on the warrior - he's sitting at 68 and just made his way to Northrend. Given the improved leveling speed in Northrend that I've heard about, I've decided to skip Borean Tundra and just start in Howling Fjord and then go straight to Dragonblight. Hopefully that will work well enough. I'm at just slightly over 2 days played time at this point.

Arms continues to be a complete beast for leveling, and I'm really looking forward to picking up Bladestorm in another level or two to have yet another way to mow down everything around me.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Back from Vaca and Back to My Favorite Tree

Well, I was away on vacation with the family for a week with essentially no internet access, so wasn't getting much done on the leveling front. I did manage to get my warrior to level 62 and pretty far through Hellfire Peninsula since my last post. He continues to be an absolute blast to play.

I've also rediscovered my love for my druid. I'm not sure why, but early in Cataclysm, I seem to have totally lost the feel for healing on my druid. For some reason, after a week off, it all seems to make sense again, so I've been doing a little bit more healing on my druid and have knocked out his first few heroics. So, in the interest of getting him a little bit geared, I've started working on Tol Barad, Therazane and Dragonmaw dailies as well.

By the way, for those of you that hate getting mobbed by all those dwarves while you're doing your Dragonmaw dailies, let me pass on a little bit of unfairness that I discovered today. Druids can ignite those Wildhammer kegs and pick up that food, while still in flight form. Oh yeah. Hover overhead, ignite keg, grab bread, fly away, completely oblivious to the chaos around me.

So, leveling the warrior may go on hold for a while so I can work on getting the druid caught up gear-wise to my warlock and my paladin.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Closer to Outland

I hit level 49 on my warrior last night, so down to single digits until Outland. It actually makes me a little sad as I've really enjoyed what Blizzard has done with the old starting zones so far. Every zone I've been in so far has been very engaging and interesting.

I finished up Badlands (the questing line in there involving Black Dragonflight eggs is really fantastic) and have moved on to Searing Gorge. That's the first place that I seem to have found a little bit of repeat from what I remember before, but it's still all pretty well done.

The only downside that I've been able to find from the new smooth questing paths from 1-60 and the fact that Blizzard has removed all the hopping back and forth between continents is that getting training for new spells and abilities has become a bit more challenging as there is really no reason whatsoever to go back to a capital city other than that. So it's no longer just a matter of "I'll swing by and grab that on my next zeppelin trip" because there isn't going to be a next zeppelin trip.

So, that's been a bit of a struggle, but not a big deal overall.

My guild is basically one day away from hitting level 20, which will open up the BoA head pieces, which should accelerate my leveling even further. Right now I'm at 1 day, 2 hours played time to level 49, which seems absolutely lightning fast to me. I know Joana's old record for 1-60 was 4 days, 20 hours which was absolultely breathtaking speed at the time. And it looks like I'm going to completely blow that away. Of course, Joana wasn't working with 35% BoA xp bonuses and a 10% guild xp bonus, so that makes a big difference. However, even if you adjust for that 45% boost, it should still come out to somewhere around 2 days, 16 hours to 60, and it at least looks like I'm going to be faster than that.

The difference would at least seem to be driven by the improvements that Blizzard has made to the questing experience.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Love that Warrior

I've been splitting time these days working on various dailies mostly on my paladin, and then working on leveling my warrior. I've been really pleasantly surprised by how much I've been enjoying leveling the warrior. Now I will admit, it may have something to do with the fact that he's totally tricked out in full BoA's which means he's wreaking total havoc with everything that gets in his way, but it's still tremendous fun.

I'm leveling as Arms - mostly because I already had a good two-hander BoA sword. It seems to be a pretty vicious spec though - the combination of Victory Rush and Mortal Strike seems to put most things pretty quickly on the ground.

I've been able to get him to level 40 pretty quickly. I've been enjoying all of the new quests. While I started him as a goblin, I've actually been leveling over in Eastern Kingdoms just because I really wanted to see all the new quests in Silverpine, Plaguelands, etc. It has definitely not disappointed!

I was intending do try tanking in some dungeons, but I've been enjoying the new quests so much, I haven't really felt the need to bother. That might change once I hit Outland in a few more levels and get back to the same old same old.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sad Tree

From the 4.1 PTR Patch Notes:

  • Lifebloom's bloom effect has been reduced by 20%. In addition, it now costs 11% of base mana, up from 7%.

Sad tree. Sad sad stump of his former glory.

I guess my druid will be staying on the bench while my pally continues to get all the attention for healing heroics and such.

Even my priest is getting more love these days.

Monday, February 28, 2011

And Now For a New Baby Joar

I managed to hit level 85 on my Rogue on Friday. His leveling time wasn't particularly fast - coming in at 6/9 of the toons that I've done so far - but I think that likely has as much to do with some of the personal distractions while leveling as the essence of the character. I also initially took a shot at some battlegrounds just to see what the xp per hour would be. It didn't take long to figure out that it was going to be a lot less, so I quickly switched by to questing.

One thing to note here - just because of the timing of when I hit 85 on my 8th toon and when I was working on this one - there was not a Call to Arms Battleground weekend at any point in my leveling process - so results on xp per hour for battlegrounds might have been higher taking advantage of that.

So now I'm off to do something that I haven't done in a while and that is level a toon all the way from 1. So is born my new goblin warrior - Joarmama. Credit to my guildy Tyronwa for coming up with the name. Seems perfect for a goblin warrior!

Anyway - he's outfitted in a full set of BoAs and is off to the races. Managed to get him to level 13 during the day on Friday. I didn't really play much at all this past weekend, but we'll see how far I can get him over the next week or so.

There is part of me that is debating at level 15 switching and leveling him strictly through the Dungeon Finder tool as a tank. It's something I've never been particularly good at, but I can't help thinking if I just focused on doing that and nothing but, I might have better results at end-game. And, I'm really in no major hurry to get this last toon to 85. As I understand it, the next expansion probably isn't going to be out in the next month or two - so I've got plenty of time to get this last toon all the way there.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ding! Level 85 #8

So I managed to hit level 85 on the mage on Monday making him my 8th character to achieve that. I'll now be moving on to my last level 80 - my rogue.

Leveling the mage was fairly easy as well. I leveled him as frost and that continues to be a very durable leveling spec. Lot's of "oh shit" buttons that you can push if things start to go bad. His total leveling time from 80-85 was 22 hrs and 27 minutes, which puts him in 3rd of the 8 toons that I've leveled so far. I also managed to max both his skinning and herbalism during the leveling process, so that included time for that.

On the rogue, after looking things over, I'm planning to level him as combat. I expect he's going to be a bit of a challenge in the early going as he's still sitting mostly in quest greens from Northrend and sporting a whopping 16K health. On the other hand, with Improved Recuperate from the Combat Tree combined with Deadly Momentum from the Assassintation tree, I should be able to just grind away with Recuperate and Slice and Dice constantly refreshed. Should make him a formidable leveling machine.

This may be one of those classes and toons where its actually more efficient to just grind on mobs rather than necessarily completing quests. Of course, you lose out on the quest rewards that way, but I may still do a bit more grinding than normal.

The rogue has mining and engineering as his professions, so will likely work on those a bit along the way as well.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Level 85 #8 - Mage

So I managed to get to level 85 on the mage yesterday. Leveling as frost continued to be very easy. I

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Level 85 #7 - Death Knight

Hit 85 on the Death Knight finally yesterday and have already gotten going on the mage, who is almost to 81. The Death Knight was very easy to level, and ended up being my second fastest leveling time despite leveling mining all the way to max.

I stockpiled what I gathered and will come back to leveling blacksmithing later on.

I did try a handful of dungeons on the death knight just to see if my previous conclusions on xp per hour had changed. In both cases, the dungeon resulted in a significant drop in xp per hour.

When I start the rogue for my final toon, I may try doing some battlegrounds on the rogue, just to see what the difference is there.

In the case of the DK, during Deepholm and Uldum, running instances dropped my average xp per hour to right around 1 million, from 1.5 million which is what I was easily hitting while questing. And to drop the average to that, the total xp per hour while running dungeons must actually be much lower than 1 million.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Leveling as Unholy

It's been a long time since I originally leveled my Death Knight. When I first leveled him, back in the early days of Wrath, Blood was the optimal leveling spec. Now, with the release of Cataclysm, all that has changed. Blood is now the tanking spec and what seems to be the best leveling spec is unholy.

Interestingly enough, it doesn't really seem to change that much about the ease with which Death Knights can mow through questing content. The addition of a permanent pet only helps things. I'm lacking a lot of the self-healing abilities that I remember fondly from Blood, so I'm having to sit and eat or bandage more often than I remember, but other than that, things have been remarkably smooth.

I've also been having lots of fun popping Army of the Dead on some of those elite quest bosses. It's really complete overkill, but it's fun, so I don't really care.

I've also been working on his Mining and Blacksmithing a bit (so I expect his leveling time to fall behind the priest). There's a lot more Obsidium in Hyjal than I remember. Might have something to do with the fact that the last time I leveled a miner through Hyjal was on launch day. Could be that.

So, all in, I've managed to get the Death Knight to level 82 and he's working his way through Deepholm.

I also finally got my epic trinket from Hellscream's Reach / Tol Barad on my warlock, so I'm pretty much just focused on Dragonmaw and Ramkahen dailies as well as the fishing and cooking dailies now. My ability to run heroics continues to be extremely limited, but hopefully I can rectify that soon and power through the rest of that Ramkahen rep.

Friday, February 4, 2011

On to the Death Knight!

Hit 85 on the shadow priest today - so that's #6! Interestingly enough, it was also my fastest leveling time to date. My total played time to 85 from 80 was 21 hrs, 28 minutes.

My previous best was the enhance shaman at 23 hrs, 10 minutes. Of course, there were two different elements to this. I don't have any professions on this toon, so no extra time for that. I also didn't do a single dungeon on this toon.

So, now I'm on to the death knight.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Bad Altoholic...Bad

I've been a particularly bad altoholic lately, having stopped leveling my remaining army of alts and have instead been messing around with gearing up my warlock. The sad thing is - I'm not even sure why I'm doing it. I have absolutely no intention of raiding on this toon. I do enjoy running heroics on him every now and then when I have time - so it's probably just a desire to get myself in a better position for heroics.

In any case, over the last week, I managed to get him to Exalted with both Therazane and Earthen Ring, which opened up a nice set of epic gloves as well as stylin' new shoulder enchants from the Stonemother herself.

I'm also just a step away from Exalted with Hellscreams reach, although I need about 70 more commendations before I can get the epic trinket that I want. Again - not even sure why I want this stupid trinket. It's all about hit, and I'm already hit capped for heroics. But - I should be able to unreforge hit to haste or something else on a bunch of gear, so I guess it's all good.

I also maxed my tailoring and accumulated enough Dreamcloth to make an epic belt and I'm half way to having enough for the epic pants. I'm tempted to work on gearing my hunter next. For some reason, I still just don't enjoy healing on either my paladin or my druid all that much, and there's so much good daily questing to do for nice shinies, that I don't really mind the longer dungeon queues.

Plus, it guarantees that I'll have at least one dps in the group that knows how to crowd control and move out of fire on the ground, which is one more than I often get when I'm healing.

I did manage to get another level on my shadow priest, so he's at level 83 now and working his way through Uldum. A few interesting observations on the shadow priest. With the healing reductions to Vampiric Embrace, he's not quite the indestructible tank he was questing through Wrath. In Wrath, I took no net damage at all while questing. Now that's not the case.

The thing that I've really been enjoying on the shadow priest though is with the addition of Mind Spike, I found that there are really two different play styles available to you while leveling. One is what I would call the traditional shadow priest style. Loading your targets up with dots and slowly destroying them from the inside. Vampiric Touch, Shadow Word: Pain, Mind Flay, Devouring Plague and Mind Blast when your shadow orbs proc. Dark Evangelism procs. Big fun.

The addition of Mind Spike has provided another leveling style that I call the Shadow Mage. Big quick casting nukes. Stuff gets hit hard and dies fast. Mind Spike, Mind Spike, Mind Spike, instant cast Mind Blast. BOOM! And the best part of this is it really requires no changes in spec, gear, talents, glyphs..nothing, to switch back and forth between these two options. I can alternate it on individual mobs if I want to. You're mastery and dark evangelism are basically wasted with this style. But it's still a lot of fun to be a nuking Shadow mage!

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.

Dawntrail Progress

Since last week's update, I finished the MSQ for Dawntrail and have unlocked all of the expert dungeons so I can start running expert ro...