Archive for the ‘Leveling’ category

A Little Update

November 24, 2008

I’m 72 now.  We pretty much finished Howling Fjord (tho I’ve got a small area on the map that never got uncovered so I’m thinking we might have missed a quest hub… maybe it’s Alliance only?  Must look into that) and are now working our way through Borean Tundra.  I agree with almost everyone I’ve read on this matter, I like HF a lot more than BT.  Although I haven’t had any quests in HF that I went “Damn that was cool!” but the tank thing in BT… that was a BLAST!!!  I do, however, love the daily sea lion quest… sooooo cute! 

I feel, like others, that there is a distinct lack of herb nodes.  Maybe there’s just too much competition right now… maybe there really aren’t that many nodes… maybe I need to get to the higher level zones… I’m not sure what the issue is, but it’s making leveling Inscription a bit of a pain.  We did the quests ins Coldarra last night and I was able to herb all the walking trees (the Hubby and I call them Ents… I know, we’re mixing mythologies, but that’s what they are!)  I got a whole lot of new herbs that I can’t even pick yet, unfortunatley not enough of anything to Mill.  Speaking of Inscription… I have horrible luck with discovering Minor Glyphs.  I seem to be able to discover Every. Single. Worthless. Stupid. Glyph.  Except for the worthless, stupid one that I want!  I’m sick and tired of needing Light Feathers gosh darnit!!  I’m actually using Levitate a lot these days with all of the elevation changes in the terrain and I’d really like to not take up bag space with feathers.

I’m a little tired of all the ganking…  We’re getting better at  defending ourselves so we’re not getting our asses handed to us quite so often, but it’s getting old.  I understand that being on a RPPvP server there’s going to be a lot more “Red is Dead” mentality… but I’m a little tired of it.  And before you flame me I did not choose this server, it’s where my friends play so it’s where I play, and I’m constantly advocating for a server transfer but no one’s taking me up on that one.  We had one hunter last night who just wouldn’t give up.  He must have had some kind of vendetta against the Hubby (or he was just really stupid) because he consistently ignored me and tried to kill the Hubby… understandably he was only sucessful if I wasn’t there.  Pocket healer = I win button.  Aparently we also have some kind of Guild war with an Alliance guild and we are Kill on Sight for them.  Kinda sucks.  At least they don’t camp. 

My last thought is on gear.  Since I didn’t raid at all with this toon, just about everything is an upgrade for me.  However my bank is quickly filling with gear.  So much has changed with the Priest mechanics I don’t really know how much I need for each stat.  On top of that I’m not sure what spec I’ll be playing when I hit 80 so I’m having to keep EVERYTHING.  The Cloth pieces are usually easy since there will always be alternatives but Trinkets can be hard to come by and each one is a little different.  Since they’re all quest rewards I can’t ever go back and get them again.  I’m probably stressing about this a little too much but I just don’t want to get to 80 and think “Why didn’t I keep [insert piece of gear here] I got way back when”  I’m thinking about things like the Vengance of the Ildari.  A lot of us wore that thing well into Kara and it’s a quest reward for a level 62 quest.

I think that’s all I’ve got for today.  I think a lot of us bloggers are feeling the lack of anything insightful to say.  All this content is so new and most of us are still trying to level.  You guys will have to live with our “What I did today” posts for a little while 🙂

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Northrend Tonight

November 20, 2008

After a marathon questing session with the hubby last night we dinged 68!  I’m now off to Northrend.  The Hybby is going to leave his Druid behind and play his main in Northrend with me.  I’m excited to have a built in tank again.  Before hitting 60 I was playing my Warlock and we had my minion as a tank.  Once we got to Outland I went back to playing my Priest… no more Felguard 😦  His main is a Hunter so we’ll have his gorilladin tank (actually we’ll probably have Sassy, his cat).  I actually have an engagement party to go to tonight (congratulations K & K) so I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to play tonight but we’ll at least get out there and get a port/summon to Dalaran from guildies.

Leveling in Wrath

November 11, 2008

Since all of us are going to be leveling again with the expansion coming out, we’re all going to need to respec for leveling.  In almost all cases raid specs are not optimal for leveling.  Most of the time raid specs are cookie-cutter with very little variation because everyone needs to optimize their raid viability.   There are so many different styles of play when soloing you should choose your talents to augment what you really like.

There are a few things you will want to consider when choosing your leveling spec. What is your desired role? Are you going to be soloing/questing only?  Soloing a lot but still want to be able to heal instances?  Mostly instances with a little soloing?  You should design your spec with your play style in mind.  Don’t worry about taking that red-headed-stepchild talent if you really like it.  If you are going to be doing a lot of soloing (which is where I think most of us will fall in the spectrum) you should consider augmenting your damage output (to kill mobs faster), mana regen/efficiency (for less downtime), reduction of incoming damage (also for less down time).  If you are on a PvP server you might want to consider PvP talents to help deal with the asshats who like to go on ganking sprees.  You can usually pass on talents that increase your chance to hit as you won’t be fighting over level mobs as often as you are while raiding (though the mana reduction component of Shadow Focus will probably make me add it to my leveling spec anyway).

Here are some specific specs you can consider.  Each can be adjusted to fit your play style.

Shadow (17/0/44)This is a basic Shadow build.  It’s got 17 in Discipline for some help with mana and focuses on increasing damage output and decreasing mana cost.  [Edit: See comments, some are saying that you don’t need both Meditation and Spirit Tap]

  • Discipline
    • 5/5 Twin Disciplines
    • 2/2 Imp PW:F
    • 2/2 Martyrdom
    • 1/3 Imp Inner Fire (just need one more point to get to the next tier, put it wherever you like)
    • 1/1 Inner Focus
    • 3/3 Imp PW:S
    • 3/3 Meditation
  • Shadow
    • 3/3 Spirit Tap
    • 2/2 Imp Spirit Tap
    • 5/5 Blackout (I really like Blackout, but you can move these points elsewhere, Shadow Power is a good option if you have plenty of Crit)
    • 2/2 Imp SW:P
    • 3/3 Shadow Focus
    • 5/5 Imp Mind Blast
    • 1/1 Mind Flay
    • 2/2 Shadow Reach
    • 3/3 Shadow Weaving
    • 1/1 Vampiric Embrace
    • 2/2 Imp Vampiric Embrace
    • 3/3 Focused Mind
    • 2/2 Mind Melt
    • 5/5 Darkness
    • 1/1 Shadowform
    • 3/3 Misery
    • 1/1 Vampiric Touch

The Next 10 Points – I would probably continue into the Shadow Tree at this point.  You could also go get Divine Spirit.  If you do get DS, put your last few points into Twisted Faith so you can double dip on your Spirit

Shadow (9/0/52)This build gets you Dispersion.  I happen to like the Disc talents too much to get this one at 70, but I can’t fault you if you want to go this deep into Shadow.  I will caution that you’ll probably have mana issues with out Inner Focus and Meditation.

  • Discipline
    • 5/5 Twin Disciplines
    • 2/2 Imp PW:F
    • 2/2 Martyrdom
  • Shadow
    • 3/3 Spirit Tap
    • 2/2 Imp Spirit Tap
    • 5/5 Blackout (same as above, you can put these points elsewhere if you prefer)
    • 2/2 Imp SW:P
    • 3/3 Shadow Focus
    • 5/5 Imp Mind Blast
    • 1/1 Mind Flay
    • 2/2 Shadow Reach
    • 3/3 Shadow Weaving
    • 1/1 Eampiric Embrace
    • 2/2 Imp Vampiric Embrace
    • 3/3 Focused Mind
    • 2/2 Mind Melt
    • 5/5 Darkness
    • 1/1 Shadowform
    • 2/5 Shadow Power
    • 3/3 Misery
    • 1/1 Vampiric Touch
    • 5/5 Twisted Faith
    • 1/1 Dispersion

The Next 10 Points – I would go fill out the Disc tree at this point, Inner Focus and Meditation will help a lot with mana regen.

Shadow with PvP (9/0/52) – This looks similar to the previous one but with a few changes to get PvP oriented talents.

  • Disc
    • 5/5 Unbreakable Will
    • 2/2 Imp PW:F
    • 2/2 Martyrdom
  • Shadow
    • 3/3 Spirit Tap
    • 2/2 Imp Spirit Tap
    • 5/5 Blackout
    • 2/2 Imp SW:P
    • 2/2 Imp Psychic Scream
    • 4/5 Imp Mind Blast
    • 1/1 Mind Flay
    • 2/2 Shadow Reach
    • 3/3 Shadow Weaving
    • 1/1 Silence
    • 1/1 Vampiric Embrace
    • 2/2 Imp Vampiric Embrace
    • 2/2 Mind Melt
    • 5/5 Darkness
    • 1/1 Shadowform
    • 2/5 Shadow Power
    • 2/2 Imp Shadowform
    • 3/3 Misery
    • 2/2 Psychic Horror
    • 1/1 Vampiric Touch
    • 5/5 Twisted Faith
    • 1/1 Dispersion

The Next 10 Points – Just as before I would put the rest of your points into Disc.

Holy (17/33/11) – This build is for the Priest that heals a lot of instances (or heals a group a lot) but doesn’t want to be gimped while soloing.  It goes far enough into Shadow to get Mind Flay and takes some of the damage reduction talents in Holy.  The rest is dumped into healing talents.  (I know it looks wierd… this is a “jack of all trades – master of none” type build)

  • Discipline
    • 5/5 Twin Disciplines
    • 2/2 Imp PW:F
    • 2/2 Martyrdom
    • 1/3 Imp Inner Fire (just need one more point to get to the next tier, put it wherever you like)
    • 3/3 Imp PW:S
    • 1/1 Inner Focus
    • 3/3 Meditation
  • Holy
    • 3/3 Imp Renew
    • 3/5 Holy Specialization
    • 5/5 Divine Fury
    • 1/1 Desperate Prayer
    • 3/3 Blessed Recovery
    • 2/2 Holy Reach
    • 3/3 Imp Healing
    • 2/2 Searing Light
    • 1/1 Spirit of Redemption
    • 5/5 Spiritual Guidance
    • 2/2 Surge of Light
    • 2/3 Holy Concentration
    • 1/1 Lightwell
  • Shadow
    • 3/3 Spirit Tap
    • 2/2 Imp Spirit Tap
    • 2/2 Imp SW:P
    • 3/3 Shadow Focus
    • 1/1 Mind Flay

The Next 10 Points: If you’ve taken this spec, you probably do a little bit of everything.  Use your next points to augment whatever you have the most fun with or what you have the most difficulty with.

Holy (23/38/0) – I’m going a little deeper into Disc with this build to get Divine Spirit and Mental Strength for some stat boosts.  The rest are in Holy taking the damage reduction talents and healing talents.  This will benefit someone who plans on running instances all the way to 80 only doing enough soloing to get Dungeon quests (and before you ask, yes this is a viable option).  Will also work well for someone who just doesn’t care that they’re going to have a tough time soloing… everyone loves a healer, right?

  • Discipline
    • 5/5 Twin Disciplines (you could take Unbreakable Will if you like it better)
    • 3/3 Silent Resolve (I’m not sure how necessary this talent will be in Wrath, but it can’t hurt espcially since you’ll probably be running with a lot of off-spec tanks)
    • 2/2 Imp PW:F
    • 1/3 Imp PW:S
    • 1/1 Inner Focus
    • 3/3 Meditation
    • 5/5 Mental Agility
    • 1/1 Divine Spirit
    • 2/2 Imp Divine Spirit
  • Holy
    • 3/3 Imp Renew
    • 5/5 Holy Specialization
    • 5/5 Divine Fury
    • 1/1 Desperate Prayer
    • 3/3 Blessed Recovery
    • 3/3 Improved Healing
    • 1/1 Spirit of Redemption
    • 5/5 Spiritual Guidance
    • 5/5 Spiritual Healing
    • 3/3 Holy Concentration
    • 1/1 Lightwell
    • 3/3 Serendipity

The Next 10 Points: I would recommend continuing in the Holy tree.

I highly recomend you spend some time playing around with a talent calculator.  All of these specs could be changed in several ways.  By no means do I think these are the “best” specs, just what I would do if my goals were those I’ve listed for each spec.  Think about what you want to get out of your talent choices and focus on talents that will help you acheive your goals.  This is also a good time to take talents that you really like but aren’t normally raid viable.  When leveling you are normally playing for your self and don’t need to worry about supporting a raid.  Remember, this is a game, have fun

Outlands!!

November 10, 2008

I am now 58 and loged out in Thrallmar to begin gathering scrap metal and wood along the Path of Glory tonight!!  We played ALL DAY Saturday and ALL DAY Sunday (I feel a little guilty that we skipped church… but only a little).  My brain is quite fried from staring at my computer screen for hours on end all weekend long but I think the effort was worth it.  I’m not sure we’ll make it to 70 before Wrath ships but we’re going to try like hell to get there.  I probably won’t be too heartbroken if we don’t get out to Northrend right away… I’m on a PvP server and I predict quite a bit of ganking while we’re all trying to kill the exact same mobs for the exact same quests!  I’m back to playing my Priest now.  I had been leveling with my Warlock and we had been gifting levels to the Priest since I wanted to learn how to play the Warlock.  I’ve leveled 3 Priests now… don’t need to play every level to know how to play my Priest but getting 30 levels on a Warlock… that would be a little overwhelming.  I’m going to miss my Felguard but I’m happy to be playing a Priest again (though she needs gear badly… she’s in level 20ish greens)!

I’m working on a post discussing leveling specs for Priests.  Hopefully I’ll get it posted toight or tomorow… not making any promises since we’ll probably be grinding out a few more levels tonight (I think 60 is easily attainable).

Also, I read a great post about gear stats for Priests, there’s a lot of math but it’s worth the read.  How our stats interact got quite a bit more complicated with 3.0 and I think we should all have at least a cursory understanding of how our gear choices affect us.  Go read it!  Weighing Priest Healing Stats by A Dwarf Priest.  I’m hoping she writes on for Shadow Priests… hint, hint 🙂  [Edit: see comments for info about stats for Shadow or check out ShadowPriest.com]

Quest Helper

October 29, 2008

I wanted to share a great little addon with you.  This addon was recommended to me by Mugglebane over at The Sacred and Profane.  It’s called Quest Helper and does exactly what it sounds like!  Helps you get your quests done in the most efficent manor.

What it Does

  • Scans your quest log and uses it’s database to tell you where to obtain your quest objectives and plots out an order of opperations that minimizes travel time.
  • The path and order of operations are plotted out on your map with helpful icons at each stop (? marks for turn-ins, boxes for item pick-ups, mean faces for killing mobs)
  • Your quest tracking updates as you complete quests and reorders itself to put the quest you are currently working on top.
  • If you have Cartographer, a colored arrow and simple directions are displayed on your screen.  The arrow will change colors based on your proximity to your quest objective and the directions will tell you what objective it’s pointing you to for which quest.
  • It perodically re-evaluates your position and recalculates the most efficent path to take.

Things to Keep in Mind

  • The pathing calculations are based on straight line distances.  This can make it a little misleading.  I’m thinking of places like Stonetalon Mountains where there isn’t a straight line path to anywhere!  you’ll get half way to your destination and all of a sudden it tells you to go do something else because by now you’re closer to a new quest objective that you are to the original.
  • It doesn’t give you details about what the quest entails, just points you to where the quest objective can be obtained.  This probably won’t be a problem if this is your second or third toon to levlel, but if you’re like me and leveling on the other side you may need to look up quests on WoWHead to know what it is you’re suposed to be doing once you reach your destination.  LightHeaded can be helpful for this.  It adds another panel to your Quest Log that displays WoWHead info about each quest.
  • This does not take dificulty into consideration.  It won’t care if the quest is too high or too low for you to complete.  If you want to work on a different quest, simply head in that direction and once you are closer to it than to the previous quest it will update your pathing information and quest tracking.

I hope you find this addon helpful!  I have found it to be really great for the Recruit-A-Friend questing.  A normal quest guide that I would normally follow has way more quests than we need to do to level.  We go to a quest hub, pick up all the quests, follow Quest Helper’s directions until we have leveled enough to move on to the next zone, delete the quest log of any unfinished quests, rinse, and repeat.  It’s working quite well for us!

Recruit-A-Friend

October 22, 2008

If you haven’t heard of this from Blizzard, it’s worth looking into.  Here’s the basic idea.  You, as a current WoW player, can “recruit” up to 5 people to play the game.  If the invitation is accepted the recuit gets a free trial account and I think some free play time once they upgrade to a paid account.  When they accept your accounts are linked.  Any toons from the accounts get triple XP when they are playing together up to level 60.  They must be with in 4 levels of eachother, partied, and with in range.  This includes XP from quests and killing mobs.  Any toon from either account can summon any toon from the other account to them once an hour (I beleive there is a level cap of 60 on this summon, but I haven’t been able to test it yet).  For every level the recruit account gains, the veteran account is given a free level to give to any toon on the veteran account (I think the idea behind this one is that the veteran account will probably be playing a main as well as leveling an alt with the recruit and the free levels are to help the veteran keep up with the recruit since they will only be playing the one toon).

The hubby has opened a second account account to level with me.  We have about 8 hours /played and are already 16, this includes some substantial city roaming the actual played time is probably closer to 5.5-6 hours.  I’ve got some friends that are doing this as well and they got to level 36 with about 16 hours /played.  The leveling goes incredibly fast!!  We’ve been dinging twice on each quest loop (only consisting of 3-4 quests).  We’ll ding once while killing mobs and then again while turning in quests. 

The Downsides

  • Cash –  If you are like us, and doing this as an easy way to level alts, not a new player, you’ll have to pay for a second account.  This is a $40 game key (for BC, $20 for Classic only) plus the $15/month to keep the account.  I do recommend getting a retail game key instead of paying for it online.  The retail key will upgrade your account from Trial status instantly and the online takes up to 3 business days (I’ve seen reports that are more like 7 days). 
  • The triple XP only applies when you are playing together – You’ll have to work out a schedule with the other person to play together.  Also, the benefits go away at 60.  You have to do it old school after that. 
  • Gear – The leveling goes so fast you don’t really have time to accumulate gear (cash flow is also a problem).  You’re not doing nearly as many quests and not killing nearly as many mobs so the gear just doesn’t show up.  We haven’t really had a problem yet, but I suspect we will have to buy some gear soon (My off the hip guess is that we’ll have to put a little AH $$ into gear about every 10-15 levels).  The fast leveling won’t be near as nice if you can’t keep your stats high enough to kill the mobs.

If you decide to go this route here are a few tips:

  • Skip Professions – The idea here is fast leveling.  Professions take time and can be easily powerleveled later.  The only profession I’m taking is First Aid.  It’s just to easy to pass up (and on top of that I’m a Warlock; Life Tap + Bandage works great!)
  • Skip “Gathering” quests – Unless you know that the drop rate is at or close to 100% skip quests that have you gather items/drops and focus your time on quests that have you kill a specific number of mobs.  Since there’s 2 of you, you’ll have to kill 2x the number of mobs to get the drops and you don’t really need to do that, there’s plenty of other types of quests to level you up.
  • Reputation – As I’ve said already, you won’t be doing as many quests and therefore you will hit 60 with much lower reputations with all factions than someone leveling the normal way.  If you want reputation (for mounts or acheivements or whatever) you’ll have to go back and grind it out later.  With the new tracking function for low level quests this won’t be as hard as it would have been previously.
  • Cash – It’s really helpful to have a higher level toon send you and your partner some cash and bags.  Since you aren’t doing as many quests or killing as many mobs the cash just doesn’t flow like normal.  It’s hard to scrape up enough money for training.  Because of this I don’t recommend re-rolling on a new server.  It will just be really hard to keep enough money on hand to take care of the stuff you need.
  • Make sure to stay close – Be sure to stay close to eachother while questing to make sure you both get the triple XP.  Also turn in the quests together.  If you aren’t close enough you won’t get the triple XP for turning in the quests.
  • If possible, choose synergistic classes or specs – 2 low DPS classes isn’t going to be a lot of fun.  Healer/Tank or Healer/DPS combinations work really well as I think 2 high DPS classes would.  Our ‘Lock/Druid combo is working well.  The Voidwalker tanks and I DOT up several mobs, hubby contributes to the DPS and heals when necessary.  However, if the two of you want to play Prot Warrior/Prot Pally,  or Holy Priest/Resto Shaman who am I to tell you not to 🙂

I’m considering writing a questing guide for this kind of leveling.  Let me know if anyone has an interest in that (or if you want to help me write it!)

SuperCoolPoints

The return of of the points!  Name that movie for 10 points!

“You’re a neo-maxi-zoom-dweebie. What would you be doing if you weren’t out making yourself a better citizen?”

Leveling Tips

October 20, 2008

Since I am going through the drudgery of leveling a new toon I thought I might share some tips for leveling quickly and efficently.  Some people really enjoy leveling and following the story lines… I’m not one of them.  For me, the game starts at 70 (soon to be 80).  I’ve done the whole leveling thing once already, I just want to get to 70.  I might feel different if I were leveling another class, but I’m not.  Here are some tips for getting to 70 as fast as possible.

Quest Loops

Using quest loops will save you a lot of time running around.  The idea is to do all quests in a specific area so you don’t have to keep going back to that area for each indvidual quest.  Most leveling guides have you do quest loops (Jame’s guides are well written, easy to follow, and most importantly free!)  If you don’t like using guides for leveling there are addons that will help you plan your own quest loops.  Light Headed will show you WoWHead info.  Take a little time to look at your quest log and plot out a course that will minimize walking time while allowing you to come back to a town often enough to empty your bags and repair.

Skip PITA Quests

This is another advantage of the leveling guide.  They will skip quests that don’t give enough XP to make the time/effort worth it.  Most of the time Group quests will not be worth doing as it takes too long to find and organize a group.  If you are unsure if a quest is worth your effort you can look it up on WoWHead to see what the drop rates look like and try to get a feel for the effort involved.  It should also tell you how much XP you will get when turn it in.  Then you can make your own decision if it is worth your effort.

Addons

There are several addons that will help you while leveing.  I definatley recommend getting some kind of map addon (MetaMaps and Cartographer for example).  What you want to look for is a way to display coordinates so you can easily find quest objectives.  Some of the paid leveling guides will come with a database of map points that you can upload and will display all of the quest objectives in the guide.  Also the ability to see unexplored areas of the map will help you plan quest loops and help you make sure you are walking in the right direction!  I also like to have a buff mod that will let me know when my buffs have worn off.  Even small buffs will help you last longer and hit harder, both of which will help you level more efficently. An addon to automatically sell off gray items may also be helpful. 

Instances

Generally I don’t recommend PUG’ing instances when you are trying to level quickly (VC and Uldaman are exceptions since they are usually easy to find groups for and have GREAT loot for their level).  If you can get a regular group to do instances they might be worth your time and energy.  Zerging through instances with a high level buddy is not as beneficial as it used to be.  If you have someone willing to zerg you the gear can be worth the effort, but don’t plan on significant XP from killing the mobs. 

Professions

If you just want to get to 70 as quick as you can then you should probably skip professions.  First Aid and Cooking are 2 possible exceptions.  FA is really easy to level as you will almost always be gathering cloth while killing humanoids and the Well Fed buffs from cooking are nice to have.  If you want to make money while leveling or have the professions leveled when you hit 70 I would recommend 2 gathering professions as they are easy to level while you play.  If you plan on having a crafting profession at 70 you can collect mats for powerleveling as you play and then fill in any gaps later.

Hearthstone

While leveling I like to set my hearthstone in Shatt.  That way I can easly get to any major city.  Being an Inscriptionist makes this even more beneficial since I can use Scrolls of Recall and hearth every 20 mins.

Holiday Quests

I like to do the Holiday events.  The quests are usually doable at any level and give good XP.  I’m currently trying to do all of the Candy Bucket quests on Galadria, which are giving me a little over 1000 XP at level 24-26.  I’ve been able to get all but 4 of them by my self.  I probably could do all of them but it would require a lot more corpse walking than I’m wanting to do.  My hubby is going to walk around with me to finish up the last few.  The other advantage is that while I’m walking around I’m getting the flight paths which will make questing later on easier since I’m getting the walking done now!

I’m going to save Talents for another post!  Hope this helps the leveling grind and remember the most important thing: Have Fun!!!