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Especially since Cataclysm, leveling in WoW is not hard.  Heirlooms, Looking for Dungeon, and the new streamlined questing experience in the old world have all helped contribute to a smoother, simpler leveling experience.

That said, I am still absolutely appalled by the amount of rude, anti-social, and downright terrible behavior I’m seeing in PuG groups in leveling instances.

Since we are bringing our own tank and healer to every group, we’re only witnessing this behavior from DPS; however, I’m sure that they’re not the only ones guilty of doing things like this – they’re just the only ones I’m seeing.

Things a DPS can do that makes it highly likely I’m going to put them on ignore:

  • Pull extra trash packs, bosses, or wander off by yourself to get killed and then beg for a rez.
  • Roll need on everything – all the boss drops, the greens, the recipes and random gems that drop.
  • Put yourself on follow for me (the healer), and only push buttons when a roll pops up.
  • Complain that we’re not pulling fast enough when I have to sit and drink – this is extra annoying if the only reason I have to sit and drink is because you pulled extra mobs, and although we didn’t die, my mana bar is whimpering a little from the strain.
  • Start escort quests, summon optional bosses, or start events when the rest of the group isn’t ready.

The biggest contributing factor to whether or not I put someone on ignore is attitude, though. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone is new to the game at some point. Everyone facepulls now and then. However, if your response to being called out for your bad behavior in a group is any of the following? You’ve just bought yourself an express ticket to my ignore list.

“lol”

“umad bro?”

“y so serious? it’s just a game”

“i’ll pull if i want to.”

“stop whining and let’s finish this”

For the love of Azeroth, if you’re going to do instances with strangers while you’re leveling (and it’s perfectly viable to not set foot in a single one prior to Cataclysm), act like a human being.  Don’t be that paladin who – when he decided we weren’t pulling fast enough for him – tried half a dozen times to pull enough mobs to wipe us in Dire Maul, and eventually rage quit when he couldn’t.  Don’t be that rogue that needs on everything in the first half of strat, and then does less DPS than the healer on the last boss. Don’t be an egotistical little failmonkey who thinks he or she can solo the content, and resents the presence of others in the group – if you wanna solo something, feel free to do so.

However, if you happen to – just once – be that rogue that zones into an in-progress dungeon and says “OMG, I’m so sorry. I never expected the queue to pop that fast and I still have 2 minutes on rez sickness”? I will keep you consta-HoTted and keep your squishy butt alive until that rez sickness wears off. Gratz on being a respectful human being.

Several weeks ago, after getting seven different classes to level 85 (not including the level 85 Tauren druid he deleted to make room for a Worgen druid), my boyfriend decided to jump on my bandwagon and get every class to 85.  Now, that’s a little irritating, mostly because he’s so much better at it than I am.

When we left Bronzebeard, we left a lot of high level characters behind.  Since three of his characters there were classes that he didn’t yet have at max level, he decided to play around over there in his off-time.  Since then, he’s managed to cap 9 out of 10, and the only reason his paladin hasn’t capped yet is that he’s leveling with my warlock.

Since we were spending so much time over there anyway, we decided to look for a casual guild – people who wouldn’t care if we disappeared every now and then since our mains are on another server.  I decided that this was a good chance to try out the new guild finder tool, and we really lucked out on the very first request sent. Our new guildies – The Aztec Badgers – all seem to be lovely people, and we’re really having an enjoyable time sharing green text & running some instances with them.

Kordelia - rocking heirlooms & a Stormwind tabard. She's already exalted with both Darnassus and Exodar!

Since character slots have been scarce on Azgalor for some time, I thought this would be a good opportunity to humor the boy as well. There’s really nothing he likes better than chain-running 5-mans from the time LFD opens up until he hits level cap.  I am usually not so patient with LFD, but I find it easier to take when I’m healing & when someone I know plays a tank, than at any other time.  Since druid has been one of those classes I’ve been notoriously bad at leveling, and since I’ve not had a lot of success playing a Worgen so far, it seemed like a viable plan all over the place.

We spent a couple weeks grinding out Argent Tournament dailies for painless heirloom access, grabbed a    guildmate from SiB, and created our power-leveling team.  My boyfriend plays a prot warrior, I play a resto druid, and our friend Kat plays a survival hunter. These characters were created on Sunday; they’re already level 43. This is an absolutely ridiculous way to level.

In fact, we’re having so much fun, we’re already planning for a new set (feral druid / healing priest / DPS of Kat’s choice), and trying to get Kat to warm up to the idea of tanking set #3.

This whole experience has really made me want to pursue my “clean re-roll” idea – I don’t know how viable it would be do this on a completely fresh server, with no heirlooms, but I’d like to try it, except this time, with a full 5-person group. Adding two more schedules to the mix would likely make it even slower going because of the extra coordination required, but I think it would be an amazingly fun way to spend some time.

All in all, I think our return to Bronzebeard – even though it’s just part-time, and we’re absolutely sticking with Azgalor and SiB – has been a raging success. Other than my warrior, who I still can’t get excited about, I realize I’ve missed those characters a lot, and although most of our old friends have moved on as well, we’re making new friends and really enjoying the game again.

Although I’m really enjoying raiding in Cataclysm, I’m finding myself really uninterested in everything else. My alts are neglected, I don’t even run daily heroics for valor points, and dear god, dailies, do not want.  I’m not even feeling motivated to chase achievements.  The shiny has just worn off, I guess.

So I decided to start some new characters on a fresh server – no heirlooms, no bags, no money, no guild, no pressure. I think it’s time to see if I can find the fun again.

 

Gretchenn - Worgen Warlock

Fylla - Draenei Priest

Dear tanks and DPS,

I realize that first aid is a royal pain to level, but making gold in this game is not that hard. Please, for the love of all things holy, buy some food. Vendor food isn’t that expensive, but if even that’s too much for you, Sharptooth are cheap and abundant, and can be made into Fish Fry, which is equivalent to all the level 85 vendor foods.

If you die in a heroic and I rez you? Plop your ass down and eat something. Chances are, unless you’re painfully stupid, if you died, I was having to triage or risk running out of mana entirely and causing a wipe. Resurrections are not low-mana cost spells. Once everyone is alive, I am going to sit down and drink.  You standing around looking at me while I do so (and while you’re at the paltry amount of health you rez with) does not endear me to you, because I am then left with the choice of healing you to full, and then drinking AGAIN, or running into the next pull with you at half-life because you failed to realize that you are responsible for your own health levels out of combat.

If there is a generous mage in the party who had dropped a table for us, and you still don’t eat? I have to wonder what exactly it is you have against food.

Finally, if the lightwell is still down from the fight – CLICK IT. I can’t pack it up and take it with me, so feel free to use up any remaining charges.

While I understand that as a holy priest, I have rather good mana regeneration, my mana is not infinite. I must sit and drink to replenish it. If monsters are not eating our faces, and especially if I am sipping on a tasty coffee, your health bar becomes your responsibility. Do something about it.

I just realized that I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks, and although it’s partially due to real life kicking us in the teeth, I also realize there’s another reason.

I’m just not having that much fun in WoW right now.

My feelings about this game cycle fairly predictably.  There are periods of “OMG EVERYTHING IS AWESOME” where I just cannot get enough playtime. There are periods of complete and utter apathy; sure, I guess I’ll play for a little bit, but I’m just not that invested.  And there are periods where I just can’t fight the feeling that everything is pointless, and those? Those are the worst for me.

And that’s what I’m mired in right now: feelings of futility. On an intellectual level, I really like the Cataclysm structure of increased challenge (whether the challenge is actually there or it’s just due to no longer being silly overgeared for most of the content), but in practice, it’s somewhat frustrating.

Right now, in order to further gear up my main toons, I need to run heroics. And not just any heroics – a couple of specific ones where there are still upgrades.  However, due to the way that heroics run in our current gear, and the general terrible-ness of groups put together from Looking for Dungeon, I feel like I need to have a block of at least three hours where I don’t need to get my ass out of the chair for any reason in order to just run one.

Sure, some days I get lucky and happen to be available at the same time enough guildies are also available and not already running heroics, and can get a full guild group that runs smoothly. More often, I need to spend at least 45 minutes in queue (and god forbid I have an internet hiccup during that time – a disconnect dumps you out of queue and you have to start over), and then at least an hour in the instance itself at which point the group either falls apart due to it’s terrible-ness, or we actually succeed in clearing the content. The first happens far more often than the second, sadly. Either way, I’m left frustrated and grumpy more often than not.

All that just for a chance at one of the few remaining upgrades. I have no use for Justice Points right now, and I’m not getting Valor Points because I don’t want to spend those three hours doing something that gives no real chance of improving my gear situation. I don’t run heroics for fun like some folks do – they’re a means to an end for me. And while I don’t mind running a instance with no upgrades for me to help out a friend, I certainly don’t want to do it with strangers.

This leads to a couple of other problems for someone like me, who can’t help but over-think her leisure activities:

1) Achievement-chasing: Krikket already has an insane amount of achievement points, and while I’d love to rack up some more, I can’t bring myself to do it. I know I should be spending my in-game time preparing myself for raiding, not chasing NerdPoints. So I’ve been completely ignoring achievements because I feel so guilty about what I’m not doing, it sucks all the fun out of it for me.

2) Alts: Historically, I’ve been a huge fan of alts.  I love being able to see how the other classes work, and seeing the content from all the perspectives of healer / tank / DPS. But when my Horde priest hit 85, I discovered one of the problems with alts now.  Sometimes? When an alt gets leveled up, you find out that playing that class is actually a whole lot more fun than playing your main. Which has led to me not really wanting to play either one – grinding out gear for a character who – in a best-case scenario – will never see anything more of end-game than possibly a Baradin Hold PuG raid is depressing. For any character of mine, other than my two shaman, heroics are the end-game, and since they’re my least favorite part of WoW, I’ve sort of lost interest in getting any of my other characters to 85.

Right now, I log on to do a little farming here and there, to do inscription research on my DK, or to help someone else out with something, or if I have a scheduled raid. Otherwise? I’m not even a little interested in starting up the game.

I’m sure that this too will pass – it’s certainly not the first batch of WoW-apathy I’ve butted up against, but it’s certainly one of the longest-lasting that didn’t come on the heels of a big guild drama-bomb. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what it would take to bring back the fun. I’ve considered re-rolling some of my favorite characters on a PvE server somewhere and taking the time to really explore the revamped Azeroth. I’ve thought about hunting for a casual raiding guild for my priest and cutting back on my other obligations.  I’ve thought about pulling out of the raiding game entirely and focusing on the parts of WoW that I used to really enjoy. But those all feel like big steps I’m just not ready to take.

In the meantime, I’m not logging a lot of WoW-hours. I have instead purchased the beta of Minecraft, which is way more fun than it should be, especially since I kind of think I might be missing the whole point. I don’t do a lot of building – I just do a lot of whacking at blocks with a pickaxe and trying not to die.

The pair-of-alts project is going well.  Our Horde toons are likely to hit 85 before the end of the night, and our Alliance ones aren’t far behind – we finished Deepholm & started on Uldum the other night before I succumbed to sleepiness. There’s actually been a couple of surprises along the way (shadowpriest is for aggros! Holy is actually not as complicated as it sounds), but none more surprising to me than this: I am more than a little bit in love with DK tanking.

If you’re considering tanking on your DK, or even leveling a brand new-tank-y DK, I cannot recommend Satorri’s guide on TankSpot enough. Yes, I was tanking ok by basically smushing buttons, but after reading this, I felt like I better understood what the buttons did. It’s less math-y and end-game-raid oriented than EJ, and didn’t leave me shaking my head in despair because DEAR GOD, I cannot possibly do that. Seriously. Go. Go read. I’ll wait.

Normally, if we’re leveling together, I do an instance here or there to pacify him. I don’t do 6 instances in one day. I have been away from tanking for a long long time, and I remember it being sort of exhausting. This is kind of amazing. I’m not a tank-for-lyfe, and I probably won’t take her any further than the occasional heroic, but it’s kind of nice to dabble, especially since I’ve thought “DK IS NOT FOR GROUP” pretty much since I rolled her.

Added bonus? Running around picking flowers in my blood spec means I get my ass kicked in world PvP a lot less. Not that people aren’t silly and don’t still try to pick fights with me over plants, but that I usually come out with at least a sliver of health left while they have none. I cannot imagine how mortifying it must be to get your ass kicked by a pigtailed gnome.

My boyfriend loves when there’s a new expac, not just because there’s new content & so much to do, but because it means we do a lot of leveling together.  Normally? I’m a level-by-myself kind of girl.  But being on a PvP server, I like the idea of safety in numbers.

We managed to get both our Horde & Alliance mains to the new level cap in about a week of questing.  Now that we’ve had a couple of weeks of grinding up professions, making some extra money due to whack prices on Cataclysm mats, and getting a couple of shiny purples crafted, we’re ready to start leveling some of our alts.

After much discussion & debate, these are the pairs we’ve decided to work on next:

That’s right – both sets have a DK and a priest. We’re thinking double-DPS for questing, and tank/healer combo for whatever instancing we do as we level. Our Alliance pair is slightly delayed as I still have a couple of levels to get on Koraline (via archeology*) before she can wear all her shiny new gear.  I don’t think I’ll do so well in the new Cata zone in my level 70 tanking crafteds!

We’ve been busily cleaning up bags & banks, making sure our professions are up-to-date, and trying to remember how to play characters we’ve barely touched in weeks to months. This time? We’re not rushing – we plan to quest just enough to maximize guild rep gains, and to still spend time gearing our mains up for raiding.  I’m planning to find out if I feel as underpowered healing as discipline as I’ve been hearing people complain about, and hoping I can remember how to play my DK as unholy.

I might actually be looking forward to this more than I did the first batch of post-Shattering questing because there’s no time-pressure on it whatsoever.

 

*Yes, archeology is haxx for leveling. Someday? I will actually post about this instead of just making reference to it.

I’ve been grinding up archeology* on my death knight over the past few days, since a guildie was generous enough to make her a full set of level 80 crafted tanking gear, and I feel guilty as hell sitting at level 74 with all that stuff in my bags.

Now, I’ve poked at archeology on Ricktus quite a bit, and haven’t really run into any problems. But there’s something about my death knight that clearly ENRAGES all the level capped Horde on the entire continent.  Whereas on every other character, members of the opposite faction just keep doing their own digging and disregard me, my death knight has been killed – and camped** – more times than I can count.

Are people really that bored already? That killing a gnome with a pickaxe 11 levels lower than them is such an exciting sport? Really?

*Post incoming soon on why archeology is haxx for leveling, and why I may never quest in Northrend again.

**My definition of camped is not one kill, no. Not two kills, because that might just be bad luck. But when they kill me 5 or more times when I’m just trying to fly to the nearest inn to log out? That’s asshattery of the highest order, even on a PvP server. Yes, you’re a big man, you can 2 shot a toon with 12k MAXIMUM health as soon as she rezes. Good job, you.

Seriously now. I don’t care if you’re hardcore ALLIANCE4LYFE, or if you think trolls are dumb, or ugly, or whatever.

If you have not played a brand new troll character since the Shattering, I implore you, go now. Create a new troll. Create whatever class you like, I don’t think it much matters. Play through the first five levels or so – it’ll take you less than an hour. Don’t worry about bags or heirlooms or training money – if you need to create a character on a totally new server to do this, that’s ok.

I really enjoyed playing the revamped Dwarf starting area, but I fucking LOVED the troll one. Go. Go now.

Honestly, I’ve done very little with my level 80 toons since the Shattering.

What have I been doing instead?

Meet Sabreena. She’s already level 22 with less than 8 hours /played. I’ve flown through Coldridge Valley, Dun Morogh, and a very much changed Loch Modan.

I am absolutely loving so many things about the changes. From the increase in available flight paths, to the new flow of quests, to the fact that I don’t have to do ridiculous run around quests for minions anymore, I am just thoroughly enjoying every minute of playtime.

It’s almost enough to make me wish the expac proper was further away than it is – I’d love to spend more time in low-level, post-Shattering Azeroth before the pressure to make the sprint to 85 is on.

Who I Am:

CURRENTLY PLAYING

Kimorah
Holy/Shadow Priest

Alliance Raiding Main

ACTIVE ALTS

Krikket - Level 88
Elemental Shaman [A]

Kayci - Level 85
Holy Paladin [A]

Koralyne - Level 85
Unholy/Blood Deathknight [A]

All Classes to 90 Progress
June 2017
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