Warlords of Draenor” huh… this could be worth looking into. *mischievous grin*

No, I’m not back.. my account is still very firmly in the “cancelled” state.. but I might be.. for an expansion.. you know depending on things. Where “things” include my first child who is due in a week. Yeah.. big things.

Slow leveler

rocketsnailMeanwhile, while leveling my new Shaman…
I’ve always felt that I’m a slow leveler. I have a smattering of toons in the mid 30s/40s and only two have ever been at max level for an expansion. I’m pleased that leveling Sapph, my Pandaran, has so far seemed to go more quickly. I’m sure it’s because Blizz smoothed out the leveling with the release of Cataclysm.. and it’s totally helped by the account-bound +experience heirlooms.. but I also noticed that Pandas have a racial perk, Inner Peace, which increases their leveling speed. Or rather the amount of time they get to level with rested experience anyway. All good things.

+experience Heirlooms:
The heirloom shoulders, chest pieces, cloaks, helms, legs and the ring grant staking experience gains. Up to a total of 50% additional experience. Sadly the ring is only available by winning the Kalu’ak Fishing Derby.

I found this very helpful chart in a comment on WowHead. Though the costs may be off.

?   SLOT     ?      OBTAINED FROM          ?      COST      ?
? Helm       ? Guild - Level 20            ?          1500G ?
? Shoulders  ? WotLK - Dal/WG Vendors      ? 2175JP or 60CS ?
? Chest      ? WotLK - Dal/WG Vendors      ? 2175JP or 60CS ?
? Legs       ? Guild - Achievement         ?                ?
? Cloak      ? Guild - Level 10            ?          1200G ?
? Ring       ? Kalu'ak Fishing Derby       ?    Win Tourney ?
? Trinkets   ? WotLK - Dal/WG Vendors      ? 2725JP or 75CS ?
? Weapons*   ? WotLK - Dal/WG Vendors      ? 2175JP or 60CS ?

Sneaking into Thunder Dome

mad-max-beyond-thunderdome-607x455 On Sunday I finally got a chance to log in and try out the new 5.2 Shadow-Pan Assault stuff. In general I like the dailies.. honestly I -love- being a leaping lizard. In specific.. I dislike doing dailies that don’t result in an immediate reputation gain. I -get- that I’m moving the needle along for unlocking the content.. but it’s dissatisfying. It’s ESPECIALLY dissatisfying since my chance of experiencing the unlocked content and getting into the raid is nearly null.. and yet the good gear is gated by a reputation that I can’t get unless I run the raid. That’s just annoying.

Regardless, eventually my curiosity got the best of me. I can’t stand to be kept out of an area by a silly little wall. So I wandered off to check things out.
Continue reading Sneaking into Thunder Dome

Just for the perks

angelic_nightmaresMeanwhile, while leveling my new Shaman…
While running through Westfall I received a guild invite out of the blue. Now normally when I get these things on some random alt I immediately reject them. This time the invite was followed by a whisper to the effect that “Hey, we’re a level 25 leveling guild and would love to increase our numbers.” There was possibly more to it.. honestly the “level 25″ part caught my eye.

My “normal” guild on Nordrassil seems to have dried up. Honestly it wasn’t ever a huge guild to begin with just a few friends .. but after I went AFK for a year it seems to have petered down to nearly nothing. My normal guild is now level 14 and, with only two people playing, I don’t really see it hitting 25 anytime soon.

It happens that the “join our level 25 guild” invite came in just after I’d figured out that I didn’t have access to some of the new account bound items because I didn’t have a toon in an active level 20+ guild. So.. it’s convenient to get an invite to a level 25 guild that after a while (after I get honored with the guild) will allow me access to some pretty spiff perks, specifically the +experience head and leg heirlooms.

The problem.. is I feel a bit guilty -using- a guild so blatantly. “I’m only here for the perks” just seems.. wrong. It makes me a user. I don’t like that feeling.

Is it “ok” to -use- a guild for its perks?

Woe to be a lowbie

Shaman_crestMeanwhile, while leveling my new Shaman…
It actually took me until level 15 to remember about the account-bound armor. See I’ve tried to level a Shaman in the past.. and I’ve bought a few of the +experience pieces. So it was just a matter of rounding it all up and sending it from one alt to the newest alt. But then I ran into an issue.

Before level 15 and especially when I did that “boss” fight in the newbie area I found it VERY annoying to use up all of my mana in offensive spell casting and then get to the end and not have enough mana left over to heal myself.. even worse when I was run completely out of mana and didn’t have enough mana to prevent myself from dying. I think that’s ridiculous in a heal-capable class. “So ok,” I thought to myself, “the way to prevent this is to go with the least mana dependent spec.. so that way if I’m fighting and I need a heal I’ll still have mana available.” So initially I spec’d Enhancement and stopped chain-casting Lightning bolt. Instead I decided to focus on shocks and .. whatever the instant weapon strike things are called and let that be what killed the mobs. It worked for the most part.

It’s a good theory.. but honestly now that I think of it.. maybe not. Now that I think of it.. even in Enhancement I’ll be using mana.. and if I know Blizz.. they’d really prefer that for very hard fights all toons end the fight at -maybe- 30% mana.. if they’re lucky. So it seems like my “save a little bit for healing” plan isn’t going to be as easy as just changing specs.

Add to that.. when I rounded up all my account-bound armor/weapon/trinkets I find a decided caster heavy set emerging. The leather pieces I have are spell leather. I didn’t buy the agility leather. I have the +mana trinket. Added bonus.. at this point I don’t have enough points to just plunk down and buy the “right” armor for Enhancement spec.

I -could- still spec Enhancement.. and just suck it up that my armor will level with me.. but will ALWAYS be wrong for my spec.. yeah right. My OCD could not handle that. So instead I’m forced to decide between leveling Elemental or Restoration.

Now my eventual goal with this toon is to heal…so for at least the last 10 levels it makes sense to level resto to pick up the -right- gear.. but is there any reason to level resto before then?

The only reason I can come up with is that I want to be able to do instances.. and it -seems- that instances, even as you’re leveling, will be easier to get into if you’re spec’d to heal and I don’t -really- want to wait 80 levels before I try out the Resto playstyle.. but I’m not sure if those are really sufficient arguments.

I suppose I can make it a moot point by buying dual spec at 30.. but I’m still waffling.

I can haz Epic Neck?

rm_robotI logged into AskMrRobot this morning to see what new updates are available and where best to spend my valor/justice points after the patch and I spotted a link that says “Get a level 522 neck TODAY!

Yes please.

The sad part, for me, is that I can’t log into the game again until next week. But you better believe I’ll be plunking down my valor the next day I get to log in.

BTW: AskMrRobot rocks my socks. Well worth the $12/year for full features. Just sayin’

Added bonus: MrRobot confides that new epic neck would put me at average ilvl 460. Noice!

What’s old is new again

sapphAs I mentioned I’ve been playing my new baby Panda shaman, Sapph. The starting zone was interesting, though I agree with Rohan over at Blessing of Kings, if I had to choose a faction based on the actions of Ji vs the actions of Aysa.. let’s just say Aysa needs to get off her butt and -do- something more impressive than meditating on posts. For the most part I found the quests pleasant and easy to do. The only exceptions were the boss fights and the final “heal the turtle” quest.

For the boss fights I thought they ran exceptionally long. My poor baby shaman is plinking away at the boss and it’s taking for-ever.. and I KNOW the boss isn’t going to kill me.. and I KNOW that my warlock could kill this puny little boss in like one dot.. but instead I spent 5-8 minutes plinking away at the big badie. I suppose if I’d done this with 101 other people in the zone that the fight would have gone much more quickly.. but as a singleton.. yeah.. that was kind of long and boring. I didnt’ even have any cool buttons to push. IN FACT!!! In one of the boss fights I ran out of mana.. and was just hitting the boss for white damage for 80% of the fight. THAT TOTALLY SUCKED! (and coincidentally made me -REALLY- miss lifetap)
Continue reading What’s old is new again

Shiny and new

shinyTwas the night before patch day.. and all through the house.. yeah.. more of the same. A heroic here, a scenario there, but everywhere, a daily.

I suppose I should prep.. heck I suppose I should have been prepping for the last few weeks.. but.. meh. I find myself below the barrier. My warlock is at ilvl 546 456. That’s 4 points shy of the hallowed 460 and I’m faced with rep grinding or 101 instances of “yet another heroic”.. and honestly I just can’t be bothered.

So what’s a poor grrl to do? That’s right, start a new toon and play through panda starter area. We’ll see how that develops.

My baby shaman,Sapph (short for Sapphire) is now level 18. Still interesting. That’s not to say my Warlock isn’t interesting. Just.. well the shaman is shiny and new.

Nothing rhymes with scenario

WoWScrnShot_022813_220829I continue to be dissatisfied with scenarios. I’ve run a few an I keep running into the same problems. Simply put, they’re confusing.

When I’m doing a quest if I’m confused about what I’m supposed to do, or what to do next I consult the quest text. Usually there, carefully spelled out, is the instructions for this quest(“Oh! I’m supposed to take their picture with the camera, not kill them.. ok”). Rarely beyond that I need to consult the comments on WowHead to figure out what I’m doing wrong.

With Scenarios I’m finding that I miss the quest text and I am OFTEN confused about what I’m supposed to be doing or how I’m supposed to satisfy the requirements.
Continue reading Nothing rhymes with scenario

What if levels weren’t used?

sandboxI spotted an interesting post over on MMOMeltingPot: “Is It Time To Shoot “Levels” In The Head?” You should go an read it.

TL;DR: (really, you should go read it :) )
[Richard Bartel is] arguing that “levels” make no in-game sense, that they separate friends from playing together, and that it would be trivial to come up with a better solution

Interesting ponder.
Continue reading What if levels weren’t used?