Leveling in Warcraft has become very fast and smooth since when I started playing (it was times of Lich King). I don’t know if it’s overgearing given even at the first levels or weakened enemies, but it is so. At those times you had to crawl very slowly, and pray that mobs don’t call any aids from their camps to help. Because if you drag at least two, your life could be in question, and three of them meant obligatory cemetery run.
It’s an obvious benefit now cause you must level up very fast – there’s so much content in-game you need to do before getting to cap that you simply can’t waste so much time for a single mob. But it killed much fun. When you use most of your abilities in every encounter, you become a tough and hardened fighter. Now, when leveling, I can use one of my hands for drinking coffee, or become distracted by the movie plotlines which my girlfriend is watching at her laptop nearby. And it’s not even a single mob to fight, I’m pulling 4 or 5 mobs even with not-at-all-AoE rogue to collect teeth or pelts or whatever the quest-giver needs faster.
Luckily there’s a certain point in Pandaria when you remember the cool experience of hard mob fights, and that’s Dread Wastes. You’re allowed here at 89 only, probably with all 6 dungeons done and equipped up to 420-430 ilvl. And that’s not enough!
You get so used to aggroing many guys and clicking them off without any radical danger to your health bar even at previous Kun Lai Summit, when you’re suddenly thrown into a boiling kettle. Kill 7 saurok, Klaxxi say. You think: Pff, and lazily running through their hearth to aggro your usual 2-3 pack, when suddenly you find your health bar at 10%, and not one of them even dead!
The rebel mantid embraced by Sha are even a greater problem with their razor sharp warriors, as they not only easily use deadly abilities which will take off 50% health if not avoided, but also attack in large groups. NOW you must remember where are the defence buttons on your panels! And “that-icon-is-sorta-some-kind-of-like-a-defence” – is not an unknown field anymore, you know exactly what it really does, and what it does up to the last digit. Also you need to kill the enemies as quickly as possible, and while you could punch 3 buttons throughout the game, it’s the exact place where a perfect rotation starts to matter.
So bless the Wastes :=) Not only it maxes your instincts and drives you out of your through-game slumber, but they also have one of the most cool and diverse storylines in Pandaria. If not only the dark blue and black ground – which is depressing, but you can’t deny how you admired with Heart of Fear palace and a Sha eclipse over your head, you did I know.
Do you like to deal with Klaxxi as a faction btw? And rebel mantid lead by their mad Empress?
P.S. Talking about Dread Wastes, I mean that my leveling 4 chars now range from 1.3 to 0.5 levels to go. Yippee! Level caps coming and I guess I’ll get them all 90 by the weekend :=)
Auction House was long a mysterious place for me. Not until I hit 60s with my first char when I actually tried to use it. Before, I’ve never seen any sence.
See for yourself: I was completely satisfied with gear for my current level, as I leveled slowly and hitting every questline, I always had enough mats for my professions: cloths from humanoids and chanting dust from disenchanting multiple quest-rewards and crafted cloths, and even Cooking, as I developed Fishing too. So: why do I need an Auction actually? No buying need.
As a seller, I was never a grinding person, so I had no stacks of spare mats to sell, and occasional spare gear or mats were disenchanted or sold at once. I just saw no sence with going to a big city and spending my time first investigating the prices, then putting my occasional 2 pieces of meat to (maybe) receive 2 gold coins. I considered my professions as a way to improve my character and that’s all.
Also as I easily got everything I needed from the game, I thought about AH as of a place somehow cheaty. Like if people don’t want to play properly and choose an easy way.
Now everything has changed. I can’t tell exactly what was the first item that I ever bought at AH, but I guess it was the said meat. Then I understood that people pay for their laziness. You don’t want to fly across outland to grind few chunks of serpent flesh for your dailies, and you need plenty. As I always wanted my game to be fun, and grinding is never an option at WoW unless you need huge piles of smth., I chose AH.
I’m not an excellent buyer of course. It’s my lack of patience which doesn’t allow me to wait few hours or days until people sell the mats cheaper – or until I simply get them from mobs while leveling (and I know I will). Leveling a profession is an extremely satisfying aspect of my gameplay, so when I’m happily going up and up to reach a cool recipe or an achievement profession point or crafting something complex and epic – I don’t want time or grinding to interfere. So I spent thousands of gold from my leveling chars on mats – that’s supposedly my main article of expenses. I frequently got to the point when my highest developed chars emptied ALL their bank accounts for lower chars. 10g for a route taxi – that’s all. Funny enough – professions did not bring me money, but REQUIRED the investments. So -
“Time is money, friend!”
Mogging – is not what I’m after, as I’ve discovered it very recently (like half a year) and I’m not a devoted mogger too – not running around the raids to get a nice thing. Mostly the cool mog stuff I usually get while questing/raiding and decide to keep it in my bank just in case. But I’ve bought a glowing ice sword for my mage after trying on ALL the swords in stocks (the one from SoO simply didn’t fit, an ugly dirty razor).
I’ve started selling stuff with some mats of course, food and cloth cause I had spare. And then I was surprised that people actually WILL buy the things from me that they could get easily and for free from the world! The second discovery was that they WILL pay relatively big money for almost EVERY junk that passes through your hands. The third discovery was that you can actually sell most items within max 2 days allowed.
What really boosted my usage of AH is of course the option on the website. While in-game I better do a quest or dig archaelogy or level-up – i.e., better do something fun!, I can easily take few minutes of rest at my work and place items to sell. Besides, on the website you see at once which prices are actual without extra typing and searching, so I simply put the price 1-10 golds lower.
So far, I’m most successful at selling jewels as Microfury prepares 7-10 of them from one Halfhill farming daily, and once in 12 days – bags from Micromantica (it’s BANG! – 1800 gold at once). Almost all of my chars now are busy dressing up their fellows and providing stuff for them. But when I actually keep up to the actual content and my chars will follow the Draenor content altogether, I think I will put AH in full use. Need money for Alliance chopper!
So: although you may never become as skilled as a goblin (even Schlitzchen) – AH is a blessing, just learn to use it.
The next zone of Cataclysm which is both most beautiful and most hated is of course Vash’jir, a piece of sea bottom not far from Stormwind. As you probably waited for Azshara – you won’t meet her here. Instead you are involved into a desperate survival questline and help Neptulon and earth shamans to fight the old gods’ influence.
You probably know that Blizzard wanted to introduce a whole underwater expansion. In the web-series “The Guild” the idea was actually put in use. But IRL it would be of course horrible. We are creatures who are used to walk and fight on the solid ground, we don’t have any fins and fishtails, so almost every fight here is a disaster as you must also consider depth direction. And while they could design underwater sunken palaces with some air (as they did with caves), constant feeling of huge mass of water over your head is really pressing too much, and you’re not only claustrophobic but always wonder if you choke in the next moment despite all the spells :=) Continue reading →
For history sakes, I write a series of post about zones of Cataclysm that I nailed while recent leveling. It will be nice to remember them after a while – so come and read to recall the events of Fire – Druids confrontation.
Hyjal is one of the 2 zones that you are allowed to at lv 80. So if you don’t like 3D underwater (no one does, come on!) you can choose to go here. For this reason, I leveled through it so much that even Vash’jir seems more desirable now. Well, you ought to eat one candy at a time not two hundred if you don’t want your guts to be glued together.
Hyjal was a destination for Zindari the Troll Rogue and Mayluna the Night Elf Druid. So this post is shared by them.
You first road to Hyjal is opened not from the main portal ring though, but by druids at other places of Stormwind and Orgrimmar. Of course we want to help Hyjal! In the end of all, both girls are alchemists and herbalists, feeling strong bonds with flora, and the last thing they want is a scorched mountain with not a single leaf or grass left. That leads them to Moonglade where a green male dragon waits for them to check out what’s happening at Hyjal (spoiler: nothing good is happening).
What they find at Hyjal is a sea of flame at its foot and a hovering bulk of Deathwing. Of course the green male must fly up to his nose and see if he will fry us or not. Deathwing is obviously so surprised that he doesn’t. But Ragnaros tries to smash the stupid dragon with his mace nevertheless.
After a very narrow escape and getting actual intelligence information (“everything’s bad”), we could finally go to the top of the mountain and begin our purge crusade from there (going downhill is of course easier than going up).
And here on the very top you see a most magnificent lake village.
The druids give you some small tasks like killing few Twilight assholes and spies. This ends with a massive bombardment of a small Twilight camp by the Greens:
As if Ysera was not enough epic, you also meet Malfurion Stormrage in person! My poor druid Mayluna experienced trembling in her knees while talking to one of the most ancient and respected druids in Azeroth. Lol, of course he’s the best of all. No match.
Malfurion offers some tasks like finding pieces of a shattered staff and then taking down one of the Firelords.
Then you are sent to deal with epic creatures that do not look epic yet… One is a green dragon, and the other is Fandral Staghelm whom you are supposed to deliver for her.
After fussing around the top and eliminating small enemies (thanks Elune, not all of the mountain is ablaze yet), we now descend to lower regions to release and summon the old demigods. Who are on the list? A bird, a turtle and a wolf. Cool company (and not to be laughed at cause they valiantly fought the Burning Legion!)
First – Aviana. The raven druids send you to find harpies and a twilight dragon raiding party who are stealing eggs and forging brutal armor for drakonids.
There’s a small episode where you rob the Twilight parties to cut off their supplies. Damn I like the ogres!
And deep down the hill you need to free Goldrinn – Lo’gosh who was trapped by an evil twin and his worshiping corrupted worgen.
Next step (man, that’s a long and big road) – is fraternizing with dryads and saving small tiny creatures from the flame:
In the process you accidentally free a locked-up satyr. He was locked since the Legions’ invasion, and now you come and free him. Oops.
After Greenpeace activity you meet the next ones who need to be released:
Long story long, you are granted an opportunity to participate in the most beautiful land healing ritual ever.
There’s actually more actions to finish up with the Twilight Hammer’s camps, but with all the demigods now free, they will cope without me I hope.
As I’ve mentioned previously, I mostly don’t like leveling in 4 zones of Cataclysm with more than 1 char – the pace is so slow that your hate grows exponentially and in the end you’re just happy to hit Pandaria, leaving it all behind. For history sakes, there will be a small overview of the zones – to preserve the good memories (in no particular order). As I don’t feel the mood to write a usual diary-story about Cata, it will be just a flashback of highlights.
Being a grown-up person and a metal musician, I confess that alcoholic drinks play an important role in my life. It’s not that I need them on everyday basis or get in trouble when overloaded, but me and my girlfriend don’t see any problems with drinking wine at dinner sometimes. And of course no party or gig could be free without having some drinks (sometimes more than some). Question is: should you play WoW when you’re drunk?
I must say that it doesn’t affect my gameplay. I can do dungeons and raids with the same skills and never got blamed for my actions by group mates. In fact, alcohol eases some things with interaction between players: as I become more talkative and easy-going IRL, I also feel the need to add to the conversation in game chat (both group or guild).
But actually I hate to play when I had more than a one drink. The next day you remember things you did in-game like in a mist. T.ex. we had some beers with the guys from my band at our rehearsal yesterday, and when I came home I did a small mogu questline for Zindari at Krasarang and ran Shado-Pan Monastery dungeon for her. Then I said: no, I won’t continue further. It’s quite embarassing to say but today at work I went to the battlenet site and checked out if I got any loot for her from the said dungeon.
So, playing drunk kills much of the experience from the game. All in all I don’t plan any drinks when I have a WoW evening coming, and I better go watch some videos on YouTube or some TV-series rather than launch the game if I already had some drinks. And if you feel the need to login, you better do something boring you need there. Like grinding.
Of course the triumphant yell “Pandaria!” could not be understood by those craving for Draenor, heh. But in this case it means I’ve ended up Cataclysm at last and launched all my remaining characters to the southern continent!
Sharing my experience now what it means to make their first steps when you have a strong back-up from three full-grown characters at every faction.
Professions – are really leveled up in no-time. When it concerns having some pandarian mats, all 4 characters immediately got full-stocks and leveled up 500 till 560 in their first day. Mayluna even dinged 600 with her Alchemy! And food stocks provided them a smooth 1-day upgrade until each Way’s recipe level 2 (550). Btw, did you know that Cooking cap now is 615? That was a discovery for me.
Gear - all 4 got something to start with. This time neither of them had any troubles with their first steps, while Micromantica died like 15 or 20 times before even getting to Jin-Yu village.
Quests – here’s what I think every character must do upon his/her arrival in Pandaria.
Jade Forest – I did all the starting line until Dawn’s Blossom 4 times in 2 days – and it was fun everytime for Horde and Alliance! The highlights which are never boring are Cho’s introduction to Pandaria, the tense landing itself and of course the scouting parties. I hated the episodes when you must battle your ways through some areas – engaging in solo battle, there are many times when you find yourself surrounded with a dozen of enemies. It was fun for monk and rogue, but a disaster with caster druid and fury warrior. Then I land in Dawn’s Blossom and immediately take the quests to Halfhill market and Chen to proceed. Generally I like the remaining mutiple quests of the area, but they are very hard to get to, roads are twisted and long and it’s easy to get lost. When I tried to get to the monastery with Chitsuro, I messed up my way so many times (every time ending up in the claws of a tiger pack or a hozen pack) that I was beating my keyboard like an angry german kid. Will probably do them when I get a flying mount.
Valley of Four Winds – I do all the line with Chen and Li Li until they are sent to the brewing house. It’s a bit annoying, but is pretty fast and gives you nice rewards (especially trinkets which are a rare stuff in all the game). At Halfhill, I don’t want to see any yellow quest marks, so I do them all. I hate virmen like hell, but I totally like the quest when you must get some water from the river, when it taps off.
Halfhill market – of course! Everything they can offer to me! It’s my favourite place in Pandaria, and I think that I will love the Garrison quite the same. There was an unpleasant surprise though – growing up veggies doesn’t bring you Tillers reputation points until 90. So I guess from my goals it’s first hitting Level cap, then getting a 16-slots farm.
Kun Lai Summit – I do the first yaungol line, because I need an established base and an extra flight path there. And I by all means do the quest with opening the Vale gates, which is fun, because you have to fulfil 3 really challenging fights in the ring (that’s a skill test!) and in the end you get a proper place to bind a hearthstone. You know, bank, rewards, teleports, transmog… worth it. And of course opening the Gate is soooo epic!
Completing all of this, you get 87,5 – with 2,5 levels to go. From now on, the paths of my characters will be different. Zindari makes her way through Krasarang, Mayluna and Rottenshield will continue at Kun Lai Summit and Chitsuro will grit her teeth and proceed with the Jade Forest.
10 levels to go for all my chars! And the rest of the leveling will be fun :) So – hail Pandaria!
P.S. Must – not – start – new – char! Actually I have one slot left, and it maybe a Tauren male druid. With Mayluna being Balance and Healing, the Tauren will be cat fighter and probably will try to tank. I think that I will see the new Tauren models in game and can’t help myself :) But need a rest from leveling by all means now.