Tuesday, January 29, 2008

35, and a peek down the road.

Yes, the group is level 35 now, which means they've earned 10 levels in approximately two weeks. If that pace seems slow, it is. I normally play them every few days, allowing them to accumulate 30-50% rested experience. Levels 33, 34, and 35 were gained over the weekend. Having come close to level 33 entering the weekend, I ran the group through Razorfen Downs. Once they had level 33 under their collective belts, I got the quest to kill the four bosses in the Scarlet Monastery, a quest which provided them with 7200 experience as a reward. Prior to the recent patch that increased quest reward experience while reducing leveling experience amounts, quests in this range typically gave 2500-4000 experience as a reward. Many quests at level 60 used to provide 5000-6500. I will need to keep instance quests in mind as I level the group.

A friend told the guild about his attempts at soloing Scholomance with his level 70 mage. He was able to kill all of the bosses he attempted (which was all of them save for Jandice Barov). This led me to thinking. From the start, I had assumed that I could solo through the pre-40 instances without any problem, and that I'd want to have the rest of the group participate once I reached zones such as Uldaman and Zul'Farrak. But I decided I'd give Scholomance a shot just for the sake of it. There were other considerations, as well. My shaman is an enchanter, and Large Brilliant Shards are a nice way to make (or spend!) gold. To make a long story short, my shaman had no problem clearing to Rattlegore, and the boss went down on a second attempt very easily.

Therefore, it's possible that I will not have to get the group involved at all until the level 58-60 dungeons (Stratholme, Scholomance, Dire Maul), and even then they will only be required to a limited degree. I would mostly need the heals from the paladin and priest, since my DPS is high enough to down the level 61+ bosses pretty quickly. Many of them have around 30,000 hit points and won't be able to do enough damage to me to make me concerned, what with two healers behind me to split the aggro.

In any event, they are level 35. My plan is to run the Scarlet Monastery (with the exception of the graveyard, which is lower level and populated primarily by non-elites) and Razorfen Downs until the group is level 40. At this point I will get them mounts, and run them to a number of flight paths, including the ones at Tanaris, the Badlands, and the Swamp of Sorrows. Being on a PvP server, getting to those flight paths can be a painful experience (well, the latter two anyway, Tanaris won't be bad). The faster I can get to them, the better.

Once there, I will have Uldaman, Zul'Farrak, and the Temple of Atal'Hakkar (ie, the Sunken Temple) within easy reach. I will look for any related quests, and start clearing a path through those zones. I am actually eager to head to Uldaman; my past experiences there as I was leveling up weren't all that pleasant (with server instability at the time being a major culprit) and so I was only able to reach the final boss two times, perhaps three. The Sunken Temple may present some interesting challenges. Having my level 70 shaman get mind-controlled could be very very bad for the rest of the group...

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