Happy new year! I know, it’s late, but it’s time for my first post of the year. Here’s a quick run-down of what I have been up to since Cataclysm dropped.
- Leveled to 85. A no-brainer. Didn’t take anywhere as long as I feel it should have. As I actually enjoy the hell out of leveling, I really felt it just didn’t take long enough. I would have been with requiring all five new zones to get to 85, but it took me 3.5 zones to make it. Hyjal, Deepholm, Uldum, and some Twilight Highlands. Quests are polished and fun. I leveled as fury, and at no point ever felt really challenged by mobs. All deaths that happened were entirely based on me going afk in bad spots. I would have been fine with progress being tougher. Due to Victory Rush I didn’t have to sit and eat much at all.
- Enjoying the storytelling. I actually really enjoyed the stories of all zones. I didn’t mind the Harrison Jones stuff in Uldum, though I know there’s a big ‘love it or hate it’ camp for those. If I have one complaint about Uldum, it is that I found the use of cut scenes excessive. Sometimes I just sat there and felt that I would prefer playing over watching yet another cut scene. I thought the finale of Hyjal was fantastic. The quests about the Maw of Madness in the Twilight Highlands were excellent. Above all, I enjoyed the character continuity. Especially the Earthen Ring shamans, but also the old Zul’Aman crew, have recurring roles. I was especially fond of that tiny, angry woman, Stormcaller Mylra. I really need to level my dwarf shaman.
- Diving into heroic content. I will frankly say that I love the new heroics. I love the challenge, the difficulty, the CC requirements, the time investment. I love having to chain cooldowns and bringing my a-game. It brings a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment to me when I can complete one of those new heroics. I haven’t done all instances yet. So far I have completed Blackrock Caverns, Vortex Pinnacle, Deadmines, Halls of Origination and Grim Batol on heroic. I found Deadmines and Grim Batol the most challenging, for sure. The toughest individual bosses for me were Altairus, Admiral Ripsnarl and Erudax. Go DIAF, Erudax. *rages* Grim Batol was the first ever heroic I extended the lock for, so that we could go finish Erudax off the next day. However, the time requirement is biting me a bit in the ass. During the week, I just don’t have the time to run heroics, or my timezone prevents my usual crew from being around. But it’s all good.
- Working on my gear. I have three pieces of 333 gear left that I hope to upgrade asap. The bracers will be replaced with the Ramkahen rep ones, the gloves just need to drop, and the legs will either be bought with JP or Neptulon will be kind to me. My biggest hurdle right now is expertise. I actually switched to a DPS axe from H Deadmines, because it gives me tasty, delicious racial bonus expertise. Reforging is awesome, yo. I am close to my expertise goal of 26, after that I will have to check my gear for balance before we start raiding in February.
- Leveling my shaman. The shaman is 75% through 84 and will be my 2nd level 85 character very soon. I have been a brave healer and have done some pugged instances, mostly Stonecore. What I noticed is that I feel more confident about shaman healing again. So far I am not running into mana issues, but it’s definitely not the endless mana pool that we got used to in WotLK. I also noticed that not a single tank is ever using any forms of CC in those instances. I am not sure what’s up with that. My personal theory is that it makes their epeens shrivel and wilt away, I have no other explanation for it. Can I heal this without CC? Sure. Would it be easier for everyone with CC? You betcha. Will every tank in the world pull all three groups of Devout Followers in the Stonecore because ‘lol, zerg’? My magic 8-ball says yes. My magic 8-ball also says that I will likely not continue pug-healing when I get to heroics.
- Not blogging. Should have been obvious. I really want to remedy this, because I started this instance guide and then kinda lost steam. Now that I am running those instances as heroics, I will probably focus the guides on tactics for both regular and heroic versions.
What’s been up with you guys? Busy raiding again? Doing heroics? Just leveling up? Hope you are having a good time. Happy WoW year.