Cataclysm

It’s been only a week, in which I have played the game possibly more than is reasonable.  Our mains have reached 85, the tag team paladin wrecking ball didn’t find anything in the questing content yet which was a blocker (the maw out in the highlands was a bit of a challenge on the timing front).

Korenwolf hit his first heroic last night, by the gods it hurt.

I’m writing up a few things at the moment so hopefully there will be more stuff here later this week.

On levelling

All I can say is that it’s a dream.  The quest flow is smooth, controlled, the amount of meaningless travel back and forth is gone, the addition of the new flightpoints improves travel massively.  Rather than running / riding between two points and having to give 100% attention to the game “just in case” I have a couple of minutes to focus outside of the game or just look at the scenery.

MMO-Champion has linked to a nice image which shows the flow of levelling through from the starter areas, and it feels “right”, currently my Shaman (level 40) is running what I will loosely call the “Dwarf” / “Eastern Kingdoms, North” quest route (Loch Modan / Wetlands / Plaguelands), the major upshot of which is I now have to level a horde alt to Andorhal so I can see their side of that storyline.  Damn you Blizzard.

For the new player the quests are telling a consistent story of the world following the remodelling done by our new arch enemy, for the player who’s seen this all before we get to see the changes, spot NPCs in new locations / roles and watch the slightly daft RP at the Menethil docks by the crew of a ship which hasn’t moved since launch which has now sunk.

So roll up something new and get out there and look around.

I appear to have provoked a “discussion”

I read dear_gnome, reasonable quality rants and a reminder that in general my realm is one of the better ones out there in the EU.  A lower level of moronic behaviour and reasonably nice people, the same is true for most of the battlegroup.  However since 4.0.3a has dropped I have noticed what I can only describe as “asshattery” from a certain portion of the level 80 community.  Rushing around the low level zones, blasting past the sub-20 nuking everything in their path, one-shotting the quest mob and then pelting away again.

Leaving the player levelling their new toon standing there with “wtf” floating around above their heads.

There are many players working loremaster since the reset in 4.0.3a who are perfectly reasonable, nuking things in a different part of the sub-zone to the levelling player, inviting them into a group for the named mob kill and so on.  This discussion is not aimed at them, they understand that WoW is a co-operative enterprise and I salute all of the players who remember that behind the alts running around there are people who’s enjoyment of the game is just as important as theirs.

So let’s look at some of the reasoning and justification for those who wish to quest in zones well below their level.

  • I don’t want to work Loremaster at 85 when I’m working on raids
    I can understand this, when Cataclysm drops in just over a week everyone is going to be focusing on levelling and then gearing for the new content.
  • Blizz created Loremaster so I have a right to get it
    Are you so special that your ‘rights’ override everyone else’s?
  • I’m bored with ICC
    I hear you, however most players have been complaining about being bored with ICC for 3-6 months, and you decide to go do Loremaster this week?
  • I pay the same as anyone else, I can do what I like
    True, but distinctly anti-social, treat others as you would be treated yourself.
  • They didn’t put the effort into levelling to 80, why should I make way for them
    This is firstly assuming that the player levelling through the zones doesn’t have an 80 (as my posts elsewhere on this blog testify I have a number of 80’s, I want to be trying something new), it also has a certain level of arrogance that the only focus for the game is to blast through to the cap as quickly as possible and gear for raiding.  There are other aspects to the game.  It also fails to account for players, of which there will be a lot signing up at the moment, who have only just started playing the game ahead of Cataclysm because of the increased level of advertising.

What is the impact on the low level player, surely the overgeared capped player is in and out before they can blink.

  • Round’em up and nuke’em down
    This is a common tactic (I’ve used it myself in the past, where it’s not going to affect other players), certainly in the whole of the old world there is nothing which is even a risk to a geared level 80, so rounding up a big pile of quest mobs, blowing them to dust, looting and moving on is efficient.  It of course means there is little or nothing left for the low level who’s stuck standing there while the slaughter happens.  With the added side effect for some quests that all the mobs respawn at roughly the same time and are a significant pain in the arse to deal with.
  • Named mobs
    Respawn timers, there’s little more annoying (and this is true where there are players of the right level in the zone as well) than someone else rolling in while you’re fighting your way to a named, killing it and departing before you can even type “invite please”.
  • Dragging mobs
    This is the old favourite for griefing, drag a stack of mobs through an area not caring if they aggro en-mass onto a poor low level and turn them into a puddle on the ground.

The other factor which is particularly true at the moment is what happened this week, that’s right Mr Grumpy left his rather run down home in the elemental planes, broke though the world and did a bit of remodelling around the place.  Didn’t ask permission from anyone and has generally turned everything upside down.

Including which races can do what.

As of the middle of the week a whole range of new options opened up, gnome priests, dwarf shammies, tauren paladins (I really must roll a cowadin at some point) and so on.  The starting zones on Wednesday were seething with fresh shammies on my realm, a significant proportion of these will have then pushed out into the wider world, wanting to see the changed levelling experience, maybe get that class they’ve failed to learn so far beyond level 10 and so on.  Simply the zones are busy with ‘levelling traffic’ at the moment, they’re not the empty zones they were on Monday before the aforementioned dragon decided to step out to grab a paper, wreck the world and do some remodelling.

I know for some people I’m preaching to the choir, to others I’m just whining about the nasty level 80’s and so on.  However I admit to being a carebear and through a pile of life experience know that not being a selfish arse just looking out for No. 1 generally makes for a nicer life all round.

So I can only leave you with the following words of wisdom.

“Be excellent to each other” – Bill S. Preston, Esq.

[Edit: I must give a special shout out to the two alliance and one horde level 80’s who were ripping through all the mobs they could find in Stromgarde tonight, it made it “interesting” to find something alive to get the badges from… thanks… I think]

 

 

Cataclysm, why I won’t be using heirlooms

There have been many words written in the period prior to 4.0.1 and since on heirlooms, how they should have been bought before the grand restructuring of the badge currency system.  How many players are going to be dropping them onto their newly minted Gobrgen to get to 85.

I have to admit I’m sat here wondering “why“.

Let’s have a look at this, yes the end game is where the pretties are, the purples, the new raids and so on.  However this expansion also has a different element to both the previous ones.

The Burning Crusade brought us Outland and the two new starter zones, Wrath gave us cold feet, Northrend and the DK starting zone.  Both gave us a pile of new 5-man and raid content, Wrath let a lot more players into the raid content than ever before, this rocked.

Cataclysm is giving us a stack of new zones, dungeons and raids.  The biggie however is the reworking of the Vanilla world, the questlines have been tweaked, left alone or completely ripped up and replaced depending on where you are in the world at any given time.  So I have to ask myself, “why do I want to rush through this?“, to a large extent we’re getting a new game at level 1.

I admit I might slap on the heirlooms as I step through the portal into Outland and keep them on through Northrend, this is content which I can now do in my sleep.

As for the new levelling (80-85), at current tuning for a level 80 stepping into the new zones I’m reckoning on being at 85 halfway through Uldum.  For those of us rocking T10 gear it’s not going to be replaced until we’re well into Deepholm and for those in 264/277 heroic stuff then it’s entirely possible that it’ll be still be good well into Uldum and beyond.

So, enjoy the new quests, it won’t take long to get to 85 on your capped out toons.

Above all, speaking as a tank & healer, please remember where your CC is, the game is no longer about how much AoE you throw out.

Levelling as Protection

So I’m back into my levelling comfort zone, bringing a baby tank into the world but with all the experience I’ve built on a raiding tankadin and what I’ve picked up from tanking with both my DK and furball of doom.  It’s certainly less painful than it used to be, partly thanks to knowing that the AH exists (something I missed for the first 20 or 30 levels on my Paladin) and having a more relaxed attitude to gold, gear, buff food, health pots etc etc.

As I levelled Korenwolf there was always in the back of my mind “I’ll keep _thing_ for when I really need it”, of course this meant my bags filled with scrolls, pots and food which never got used and dropped below the threshold of usefulness as he moved through the zones.  This time around on the warrior I’m merrily mashing away, popping the buffs even if I’m only going to be on for another 20 minutes, who cares that I’m not getting the full duration from them.

I’ve proved in a number of instances (Ragefire, DM, Stockages & SFK) that she’s more than capable of picking up mobs and holding them off the DPS, or at least where the dps are working with me and not against me and I’m quite enjoying it.

Levelling is of course easier in that she’s being levelled as part of a team with SWMBO’s priest who’s bringing the dps big guns with a side order of healing to allow the Gnomelette to pull silly amounts of trash into a single killing zone, or indeed to survive picking up the extra patrol where as a solo warrior she’s be studying the floor at close range (again).  Of course I have to be careful to remember I don’t have the insta-aggro of Korenwolf or his survivability tricks (thank you ardent defender).

More on this as she levels up to 40 and into the big time.