Posts Tagged ‘leveling’

Leveling is probably one of the most satisfying events while playing WoW. Not quite as satisfying as letting a jerk dps die when they pull a pack of trash without waiting for tank, but still pretty satisfying. Pretty much every new level there is a talent point or new spell enticing us to reach the next plateau.

My mage reached level 80 and started Cataclysm content just recently. Which, I must say is a nice change of pace from previous content. Wrath of the Lich King content was great when it was relevent. Now it seems slow and clunky like BC content once was – not just because I’ve done it so many times on other alts – but also because the questing system and layout for this expansion is that much better. Reaching 78 was actually the biggest jump in “power” for my mage though, because of the Cataclysm quality greens. My spell power doubled and stamina tripled going from 77-79 because of the massive item level difference. After that, the power growth jumped again upon receiving mastery at level 80. It took only slightly longer than an hour to reach 81 but here I noticed something. My DPS didn’t really go up. A couple of upgrades had only a tiny effect. Level 82 and a couple more upgrades and my DPS remained constant. How can I gain a few hundred spell power, more haste/mastery/crit rating and not gain DPS? (more…)

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I started WoW midway through The Burning Crusade after a friend/roommate offered to buy me the game if I’d play. Prior to this, the idea of spending reoccurring money to keep playing a game seemed ridiculous. Although I enjoyed Warcraft 2 and 3, I thought, “why would I keep paying for one game when I could just buy a new one every few months with the money I’d be spending”? But, given that the initial cost was zero and the first month was free, it became a fairly no risk decision to give it a try. So I created my account, made a warrior, and was a terribly bad noob.

My recruiter was horde so naturally I followed suit. This is something I am eternal grateful for because who wants to be dirty alliance? (At first I wondered if bashing alliance could be bad for reader retention, insulting half of players and all… then I remembered Alliance can’t read – they only communicate through garbled letters and occasionally say “me luv u”.)  My class choice was fairly split between Paladin and Warrior. I wanted a beastly, 2-handed axe wielding monster of damage output and eventually decided on an Orc Warrior. My first choice was ThornDrumheller after a character from one of my favorite book series, but it didn’t work out. I had recently watched 300 and took my next choice and named this fresh orc “Threehundred” on account of not being able to use numbers in a name. This was a first among a great many bad decisions that I made on my noobish trek through beginning WoW.

The warrior began (and still is actually) as a fury warrior. Without too much direction after the first few levels (and a couple of RFC runs when able) I eventually learned dual wield and promptly ran around with a dagger and a shield. In my defense, the dagger had the best damage I’d found at the time, and it just seemed to make sense that I’d live longer wearing the shield. He struggled all the way to level 26, eventually dual wielding daggers, and found himself in Hillsbrad. After 26 grueling levels, having to stop and drink repeatedly, I parked him in the Tauren Mill Inn and never played him again. Ok, so I did eventually, but that’s a later story. I liked the overall feel of the melee damage dealer but wanted self heals. Naturally, I moved onto my Paladin.

Back in TBC, you didn’t have to declare a talent tree ahead of time. You could sort of pick points as you went along. I sort of picked points that seemed immediately good regardless of the tree I was going down. I ended up mostly holy and the eventually had a proper holy spec. Of course, this was awful. I just didn’t know it yet. I quested about 40 levels in holy spec. This was a long, long grind. At some point real life got a little too busy and I ended up taking a long break from Wow. I think I was level 63 at the time. I never participated in any raids during this time. I did watch a friend of mine do kara and thought it looked pretty cool, but , level 63’s can’t raid.

Before taking my break, I also did a great deal of PVP both as holy and ret. I honestly probably would have hit max level during TBC instead of not getting there til later. Instead I left Paladin floundering in Outlands for a good several months, awaiting the day I’d return and bring it to greatness!…or at least max level.

Awesomeness. That’s my “if you had to describe deepholm in one word” word. This zone, like Hyjal, has a very fluid quest process. Blizzard has really stepped up their game with cataclysm. Now the questing has more of the feel of a traditional RPG, where your actions and quest results have a very real effect on the world around you. They again made a lot of use of the phasing mechanics in order to show the progression of the zone and the NPCs involved as you do things which help save the world. The zone is gorgeous and has now become my favorite cataclysm zone. Of course, I’ve only played Hyjal and Deepholm so far.

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I didn’t too much max level content last night with the exception of a couple of weekly quests for some Justice points. I do have some thoughts relating to that, but I’ll get to it at the end of this post.

Lowbies are OP

You read that right. Low level characters are crazy over powered right now. I’m going to extend this to all the ones I played with or encountered last night; warlocks, priests, warriors, rogues, shaman, and especially paladins. On my warlock I queued up with a priest healer friend of mine and we tore up 7-8 instances last night. As healer, the priest was completely bored the entire time for lack of anything to do. All the runs were fast paced chain pulls and he barely had to drop an occasional bubble or renew. As a lock, I could pull ahead of the tank and eat the aggro without worry because most mobs would die before they ever got to me. Keep in mind, we’re not overgeared, twinked or even using heirloom gear. At level 22 we have only 1 ring each, no trinkets, no shoulders, no head-piece, and I’m using a melee dagger cause I’ve gotten nothing better from our chain runs. I do 100 dps at level 20 in destro. My immolate DoT can crit for 150+ and the initial damage has hit for 250. I’ve seen over 300 damage hits from my Searing Pain spell (which I can make automatic crits with my soul shards ability).

So Define ‘Overpowered’

One of our runs had a pally tank in full heirloom gear. I say tank because of the role but he was running in ret gear/spec. At level 20 he was averaging between 200-250dps. His Templars verdict ability that uses his holy power never hit for under 700. I saw it hit over 1100, almost one shot an elite mob and easily enough to one shot anyone in the group. I think being able to do 50-100% of a potential PVP enemy’s health in one move is overpowered. Of course, the priest with me could do 50% of our best geared tanks health in one crit. The relatively geared rogues in our groups between levels 16-18 were already doing 100 dps and could do finishers for 250+, or half of their health. Each instance, be the characters geared in heirlooms or mixed questing greens, was a mad chain pull with no deaths or wipes or breaks needed.  We plain destroyed the content. Admittedly, it’s possible that every player in all the groups were total pro’s with 8 alts they’ve run through the content before, but that seems unlikely. More likely, is with the new level 10 talents and bonuses for picking a spec, lowbies are just OP compared to level appropriate content.

Outside of the instances, a level 1o shaman wearing heirloom gear that dueled me could do half of my level 18 health in 2 globals. Fortunately I didn’t lose, but a level 10 who can do 175 damage earth shocks is pretty intense.

Maybe it isn’t just low levels

Last night I joined a random group to do the weekly quest which was XT-002 The Deconstructor. This of course required us to do the vehicle boss fight vs Flame Leviathan. FL, as it has been for months, was terribly easy even with half of the players hardly doing anything. My issue comes up on our fight with XT. For those who don’t know the fight, there is periodically a phase where his “heart” is exposed and if you kill the heart during its timer, hardmode is triggered. Here we have a group that had enough gear to easily kill the heart, a feat which was considered a gear check at the time it was relevant because of the high dps required to do it, yet lacked the skill or experience to know they shouldn’t kill the heart. With gear inflation and boosts from talent points and scaling recently we’re able to hit harder and do more damage than our skill would otherwise represent. After the group killed the heart, even with at least one dps (myself) stopping and possibly another, the hardmode easily bested us as only two people there had any idea what the mechanics were at that point. Sounds like a case of “with great power comes great responsibility”. The characters are more powerful than the players know how to handle or when to slow down.