Today I am Going to Fly

Some men are born posthumously. ~Nietzsche

alt.update

Posted by penuruloki on October 30, 2009

Since I posted the healer comparison, not having the priest in it has gotten to me and I’ve been on another leveling binge. It still stuns even me that with the server maximum of 10 toons, my lowest level is now 47. By level 47, my first toon (Turla) had gazed upon the stronghold of his enemy at Orgrimmar (level 25), held his first epic (level 40 – summoned by the Mithril Order trinket) and had discovered his true calling (tanking – the revelation coming while tanking Sunken Temple at 50 with Avenger’s Shield). Ahlora has, well, leveled to 47. It seems like a bit of a letdown, but there are some experiences you just can’t repeat. I’ll never again be able to walk into Feralas from Desolace for the first time again, or have my first griffin ride again. But then, every toon I’ve leveled goes through various phases, where I figure out new abilities, new rotations, or have to retire old strategies that haven’t kept up. So I thought I would post an update of my latest leveling experiences.

Ahlora

My Warrior and lowbie on Velen, at level 47. She started with the gold, heirlooms, and experience of someone with multiple 80s, but there’s always a catch. I knew from the beginning that my wild Fury warrior would struggle with the lack of +hit gear at lower levels. Missing a lot begins a bad spiral where you not only lose the damage from the miss, but you also get starved for rage and lose your special attacks as well. Warriors need to hit their enemies. I’d already made a beeline down to the 3% hit boost talent, but it wasn’t working the miracles I needed.

Miracles do happen though. It started when I put in a little time in the city working on her blacksmithing to get her some plate gear, since she can wear it now. Doing so I spotted the nice dps plate gloves, and started thinking about if it would be worth making them. That hung at the back of my mind. Then I went out to collect candy buckets.

I made an easy level doing nothing more than flying around Azeroth, mostly afk time, while I did some reading on the internet. I came across an article on warriors that was mostly on Whirlwind (which I don’t have yet but I’m familiar with in principle), but mentioned something that caught my eye, “instant slams”. Slam is an ability that I got while leveling but never use, because it has a cast time. As a seasoned paladin, I know all the bad things that happen when you cast anything with a cast time in melee combat. Having them instant (and not replacing your regular attack like Heroic Strike so you build rage better) would be very hot. So I started digging down through the talent tree while I collected candy buckets. It’s down far enough that I can’t get it yet, but it has a chance to proc on Heroic Strike, Whirlwind, and Bloodthirst. So I went looking for Bloodthirst.

I found it in the tree, within reach with a respec. It’s an instant strike (woot!) that does damage, and causes your next 3 attacks to regen 1% of your max health each. I’m a big fan of anything that gives you a little heath back. It’s way out of your core function in a dungeon most of the time, but it’s great for reducing downtime, and I’m all about reducing downtime when I’m leveling. I was pretty stoked. It cost 20 rage though, which is a lot for a low hit fury warrior. I went looking for a talent or glyph that might reduce it.

I did find a glyph, but it didn’t reduce the cost. It doubled the healing. That’s way cool. I just had to find a solution to my hit problem. About that time, I finished collecting candy, and looked in my bags. There it was, staring me in the face. Chewy Fel Taffy. Adds +5 to hit, and stacks up to 4 times. There was the hit rating I needed to make the stretch. Added to my elixer (+10), and my lowly +4 hit ring, and I was up to about a 4-5% boost. And then I remembered the gloves, which required level 40, and would therefor take a TBC enchant, like the +15 to hit enchant.

Taken all together, my new improved Bloodthirsty Fury machine went out and smoked the mobs. She went from kill to kill cutting down enemies like a knife through warm butter. I finally parked her when she ran out of rested state, after 4 levels of glorious slaughter. The candy is limited in supply, but by the time it expires or it runs out, she’ll be 49 and can equip the +24 hit trinket to make up for it. Soon enough she’ll be in Outland where she can get actual +hit gear, and gear with sockets that will happily take LK hit/expertise gems. =)

Valruan

My priest and last healer to climb the leveling ladder. I’d slowed down on questing with him, as I was starting to get the occasional alt runs with a guildie who recent transfered over a Protection Paladin of similar level. Questing as shadow isn’t bad once you get into the 40s, but healing dungeons is still more fun, and gets better gear (aside from the heirlooms of course). I did get a chance to dps a run as shadow during that time, and hated it. No shadow AoE made trash a burden, and his mana regen wasn’t keeping up well either. I did well enough on boss fights, but most of the time I felt like I couldn’t really pull my own weight, and went back to healing on runs.

After posting though, I hopped back into shadow spec and did some questing. Between dungeons and questing, he climbed through Outland, started into Northrend, and has now hit 70. In the process, he’s also gotten more of his healing toolkit, and I’m starting to get a feel for how it goes. I haven’t tried any Northrend dungeons yet, so I won’t comment on healing quiet yet, but I’m not feeling the small toolkit blues anymore. He’s also parked for the time being, having run out of rested state. When he gets some rested state back, he’ll be ready with his epic flyer and most of Northrend left in front of him (doing half of Borean Tundra took him from 68-70).

Ugart

My Warlock has been in a strange limbo most of his life where I figure out all the cool things I can do with him, then park him the shed and don’t do them. The class is pure crazy with all the stuff going on, and I probably made more changes to his play than any other toon as he leveled. I went from fear kiting the early levels, to having my minion tank my teens and twenties, to drain tanking from the thirties through the sixties (with more dots and more power the whole way). In Northrend I dual specced a demonology spec and discovered I could run him just like a hunter, except without buying ammo, and without healing him most of the time. Now he has enough talent points to have his Felguard tank two while he drain tanks a third. I partnered with a guild hunter in Zul’Drak today, and I watched her health drop slowly every time she took on a mob herself (she’s MM and her pet just can’t hold agg), while I’d dot one up for my pet and move on without looking back. With her extra dps, I’d dot one up for my pet, dot another one up, then move my pet over (since he had enough agg to hold the 1st one for the few seconds it had left to live), and move on, repeating the process. It was literally chain pulling. I didn’t bother staying for the kill, just pulled and pulled.

That said, for as fun as he is, he’s a dps class, and I never get to dps in group content anyway. Even when I do, I usually get bored once I get the rotation down. It isn’t as challenging as tanking or healing and can’t hold my attention for as long. With my Priest and Warrior resting up, I sent my heirlooms back over and worked on him anyway, but he’s just never going to be a priority.

He’s been idling at 74-75ish for a while, and now he’s climbed up to 78. 77-78 are hard levels, not content wise, but it’s the stretch where you can see the end, but it’s painfully just out of reach. Literally nine times out of ten when I hit the cap (4 times at 70, and 5 out of 6 times at 80) I hit cap the same session where I hit cap-1 level. Seeing the end of my XP bar just does something for me that gets me through no matter how long the levels were before it. I’m almost there on my Warlock, and I’ve hit it earlier than ever. As more heirloom gear is introduced, the XP boost makes zones give more and more, and I get further and further ahead of the expected level. I hit 78 in Shalozar Basin on my first couple 80s. Now I’m 78 on Ugart and not done with Zul’Drak yet. I might hit 80 in Shalozar at this rate.

I might keep questing for the enchant mats (he’s my oldest, but 3rd highest enchanter out of 4), but he’ll likely never see the inside of a heroic or raid. Sad, but for as many alts as you can level, there’s only so many you can gear up and actually use.

Korus hasn’t moved an inch. He’s a hair shy of 62, but he’s just so squishy that it’s hard to get excited about questing where you might be stuck in close quarters combat. Mages require space to operate like no other class does. He’ll level again eventually, but as a dps class, a squishy, and competing against other projects, it may be quite a while before I can find any time for him.

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