I’m having quite a lot of fun questing through the new zones — Ano did Vashjir for openers (the giant dying creatures made me sad) followed by Deepholm and then went to Uldum. Thanks to running a few normal instances with guildies, he hit 85 last night just before the battle for Nefernet City. And yes, every time I’ve seen “Neferset” I’ve mentally substituted “Nefernet”. Well, it kept *me* entertained. Cent, sneaky little so-and-so that she is, claimed that she needed priority as “enchanting was more useful to the guild”, and bullied me into playing her to 85 a few days back. I took her to to Hyjal first, which I think is probably a faster zone to level in. No z-axis confusion and lots of familiar-looking mobs = easy movement from quest to quest. She then had fun in Deepholm, found a frustrating clipping bug on the airship (it’s easy to clip through the wall of the captain’s cabin when mounted and get stuck under the stairs — jump *through* the stairs to escape), and after Uldum did a few quests in Twilight Highlands before hitting 85. I found arcane to be an excellent levelling spec; whilst dealing with multiple mobs can be tricky and require the use of escape abilities like invisibility, the slowing effect of arcane blast means that regular quest mobs rarely get close enough to inflict any damage, and burst output is high enough to deal with most “boss” quest mobs quickly and easily tool.
One thing which has been a little strange is the rise and fall of damage output — going up with gear upgrades only to drop after each new level as the point-to-percentage ratios for haste, crit and (especially, it seems) hit change. Whilst it doesn’t matter *what* damage you do provided your quest mob dies before you do, the occasional glance at recount has made for interesting viewing.
Outside the game, my blogroll has been “interesting” over the past couple of weeks. It feels like a huge chunk of the community are now focused on producing and re-producing pre-dungeon/pre-heroic/pre-raid/best-in-slot gear lists for <class>/<spec>/<critter>. I don’t doubt for a second that, in a few weeks’ time, I’ll be happily and thankfully making use of the various lists to find out where I need to go/which faction I need to charm in order to replace the last few persistent quest greens, and when I do, I’ll be massively glad that someone took the time to pull the information together so I didn’t have to. I’ve got to say though — they don’t make particularly interesting reading during my lunchbreak.
Perhaps I’m warped or something, but I really *liked* all the weird and wonderful posts and conversations which took place quite possibly because all of the useful things that could be said about ICC had already been said a thousand times. I loved the odd things people posted about (check out archives from the blogs listed in Near and Dear section of my blogroll for fine examples) and the millions of ways people found to amuse themselves at the end of the expansion. Loot lists are great, but they’re a bit like your DSL router. Hugely useful (perhaps even essential), the product of time and skill, but ultimately not something you’d chat about in the pub.
Anyway, I’ve got two characters at 85 and I’m finding myself a little torn. Normal 5-mans with guildies have been great fun. I’ve only done one “random” run (with two other guildies); the first two tanks were still largely following the wrath “grab the room” playstyle, with not-always-successful results but it was ultimately successful and we had a good old chatter in /p. So dungeon running to gear up and questing for cash and rep is going to be great. But there are so many other things to do…
Tremble is halfway through 80, with XP gained purely from mining/herbing (and killing the occasional mob standing on a herb or node). I’m going to take him to Uldum to continue mining and herbing, to feed our blacksmiths with ore and possibly to sell/save for Grammy. I *do* want to level him as I want to start tanking on him again before I forget the two or three things I learned; I’m still a bit scared though. I was a ‘nub’ tank in Wrath dungeons I knew well and which were ‘faceroll’. Lord knows what I’ll be like in the Cataclysm ones. Must find guildie alts who will be nice to me when I get them killed.
Grammy is level 66, and I feel oddly motivated to level her through Northrend. Partly that’s because she’s my engineer/alchemist, and I want her to be able to level to 525. But also, I was having *lots* of fun playing her before the Cataclysm launch. Affliction questing is fun (even after the nerfs).
I also have a some new worgen lowbies — a feral druid who’ll pick up a resto offspec at 30 and a warrior, who I rolled mostly because male worgen are stupidly hypertrophic and I thought it’d be a fun look. Unfortunately, warriors get charge practically from birth these days (level 3? 5?) and mobility is fun. No! Must leave the lowbies for later.
It’s a good problem to have, but there’s too much potential fun, and not enough fun-time in the day. WTB winning lottery ticket please!