The Slow Grind to 9×80 Continues…

17 04 2009

Pallytank reporting for duty!

  After a week or two of focus on Eusko, I now have my 4th toon to 80. He’s slotted in as a tank for me, and there is actually a very good selection of gear out there to deck out a fresh 80(for the enterprising). Fortunately for me, I did have the resources available to me that I could have decent gear waiting for him at the ding (as I said a few posts back), so I was fortunate enough to step right into both Naxx-10 and -25 on his first weekend at 80.

  With the gear that I had (and without Kings, but with Devotion Aura up), I was at just about 25k armor and health right off the bat. Raid buffed, I was over 33k health at times in 25 man. I also managed to be defense capped (though, not by much) and post a combined parry / dodge of about 35% (up to 38.5 now). Sure, these aren’t that kind of stats that say “go tank Patchwerk”, but they’re certainly sufficient to be a functional tank for raiding and well above what is needed for heroics; if my experience over the weekend (VoA 10, Naxx 10 + 25) was any indicator, Eusko looks to be off to a good start towards becoming a very viable tank. Really, the only thing that I felt was not keeping up on the runs was threat, but that will come as gear improves.

And this impacts what?

  So, with Eusko moving into viability as a tank, where does that leave Rib? I’m once again underwhelmed at the changes to Druid tanking. It’s something that I’m going to have to test out against a known quantity to gauge exactly where I stand; to that end, I’ll be going back into Heroic Sethekk Halls again shortly to see how different the feel is from pre-patch.

  Assuming that things play out as expected, and soloing Anzu isn’t quite as comfortable as it used to be, then I have a decision to make with Ribby. He’s going to be a dual-spec character for sure, but the odd question about it right now is: will Feral be one of them? Rib has been Feral more or less forever, but I don’t much enjoy Cat DPS, to be honest – so if the Bear isn’t cutting the mustard it may be time for gogo Space Chicken. Rib has *never* specced Moonkin, but the spec and playstyle look to be fun enough that I think I could enjoy it; short of totems, the playstyle looks to be very similar to Elemental Shamans in terms of the simplicity. Keep your DoT up, pew pew the nukes in between. Add in that the synergy in gearing with Resto is not too bad, and that my ultimate role for Inyaki (well, in 16 more levels) is to tank as well… let’s just say that the field test is going to be important here.

Status: the Quickie

  Outside of finally getting the Paladin to 80, I’ve been somewhat slow about actual alt leveling this week. However, I did manage to bang out 64 on Inyaki and 71 on Zuggzug in a short amount of work; what does that means to me? 49 levels left (aggregate) before everyone who isn’t a bank alt is 80. It seems like so much work still to go when I look at the individual characters, but when I add it all up and see that the number is now below 50 – and almost 1/3 of that balance can be attributed to a single toon – it suddenly seems much closer. I think that a solid weekend of work could probably cut 5 more levels off that figure, minimum; while I’m hesitant to try and guess exactly when I might be able to realize the 9×80 goal, I think that somewhere around late June – early July might be reasonable. I just don’t have much more than about 3 or 4 hours (at best) to put in for all of my needs on most days, and sometimes less.

  One very positive note, I was able to obtain the Tunic of the Artifact Guardian from Malygos-25 last week. When I was first looking over the loot tables for WotLK back in November, I can remember looking at the numbers on this piece and thinking “wow, that’s awesome. I wish I could get that someday, but I probably won’t be able to.” Well, my someday arrived, and I’m thrilled! The only stinker is, I never bothered to get my 7.5 Legs for Resto, so I can’t use it at present unless I want to break my 4-piece set bonus (I don’t!). Hopefully, we get some time in on Naxx-25 this week and I can acquire those. The fact that it’s a chestpiece is a good thing for my Elemental set, though, as the set pieces that I had there were the shoulder, legs and gloves. I need only acquire a headpiece for Elemental and I’ll be able to work out the 4-piece bonus there as well.

  Now, let’s talk maces, Kel’Thuzad…

3.1 and Early Observations

  I’m at a disadvantage to a lot of people here since I haven’t experienced any Ulduar yet. We were set to go (and by “we”, I mean myself along with the Aussies) on the night after it all dropped. Unfortunately, all of the issues accordant to a new patch interfered with that cunning plan, since Blizz had to institute some server “down time” over 2+ hours during what would have been the core of our raiding time. So, it looks like Saturday night / Sunday morning will be my first experience there. I guess that the upshot is, several of the bugs will probably have been worked out by then, so it should be more enjoyable.

  I did dual-spec Manchego. I’m a bit low on absolute dollars presently after the resources I poured into Eusko – but I’m fairly happy with what I got. I’ll need to fiddle with it a bit more, and the item manager tool will certainly make it more expedient – but it has the feel of a very handy upgrade to the game.

  I really haven’t been able to do much more than my respecs and a little bit of grinding in the interim, and probably won’t get much in until the weekend. A few things that I have noticed:

  • The additional glyphs that were introduced are (overall) pretty useful, and give a lot more options for customization that the previous lot offered, as they really fell into a “cookie cutter” selection for most class / spec combos.
  • The redesign of talent trees has been great; notably, I’ve seen a lot of cases where the reduction of a 5-point talent down to a 3-pointer has offered the flexibility to spend into areas where I might not have before. For instance, taking Restorative Totems down to 3 points means that I can place points into Ancestral Awakening without compromising anything that I had previously talented into. For my Paladin, baselining Kings and reducing One Handed Weapon Specialization + Ardent Defender to 3 pointers means all kinds of options.
  • One neat little tidbit that was sort of under the radar: Siphon Life has been removed as a Warlock spell. Now, the talent means that Corruption ticks will grant 40% of their damage back in health. Once again something that I haven’t had a chance to test, but I’m pretty sure that Felguard / Affliction grinding just got stupidly easy, and the downtime on the spec is likely near zero. If that wasn’t enough, Mana Feed is now a 1-point, 100% match. The 4 1/2 levels I have left should go by at crazy speeds. Heck, I can even leave Cleave on the whole time and not worry about the mana drain anymore.
  • Not that I noticed much downtime before, but the ramp-up in self healing and DPS for Blood DKs is noticeable. I’m more or less a Rogue in plate armor that can shift into tanking form – and with a constant health regeneration dynamic that means chain pulling is ridiculously easy. Once again, it’s questing limited only by the speed at which you can kill people. I can’t remember the last time I had to eat / drink with the DK.
  • Given the state of mana regeneration, I think I’ll shift the Mage back to a Fire / Arcane spec and see how it goes. While I’m sure that this will make some of the harder one-on-one combats more difficult (elites, specifically), grinding of regular mobs should move along at a fast enough clip that it makes up for it. We’ll see how it goes, I may wind up back in Frost after all.
  • I don’t know if you’ve seen one yet, but that Turtle Mount is made of awesome.
Feel the awesome. Go ahead, drink it in.

Feel the awesome. Go ahead, drink it in.

  Now that you’ve seen one…

  I know of two people on the server who have one so far, though I’m sure that there are more since I’m not online for prime time. One of them is the Main Tank from the Aussie guild, and he got his in about an hour of work. I should be so lucky… At any rate, I’m leveling my fishing. Now.

  Weekend plan is to get feet-wet in Ulduar, maybe get a boss or three down. Hopefully in between, I can get the fishing skills up (311 currently, though that means only 44 more points before I can hit Northrend with the pole + lures) and maybe bang out 1-3 levels on alts.




One response

17 04 2009

On fishing, you can at least complete the fishing daily “Corroded Jewel” from the sewers in Dalaran with low fishing skill. My hunter barely had 100 fishing compared to the 450 of my priest and while the hunter mostly fished up unusable junk, he was able to complete the quest and gained about 60 levels of fishing in the mix. So just a heads up incase that is the fishing daily on your server.

Best of luck with all your goals this weekend. I’m only up to two level 80s, the hunter and the priest. The Warlock, Druid, Mage, and Shaman are all 70+ though. And yes, even prior to patch 3.1 Blood DK was easy, mine never had to eat or bandage.

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