Monday, December 29, 2008

Back in business? Not quite yet...

I had all but stopped playing WoW during September/October/November as we waited for the expansion. A number of guildies tried Warhammer Online, and I played it for a few weeks. The game is very well designed (IMO), but it's definitely geared towards the PvP player. A few friends are still playing it instead of WoW. The guild has leveled to 80 and is starting raid progression. I didn't start playing again until about three weeks ago, and didn't look forward to leveling up on a PvP server or getting back into raiding. So I've moved most of my remaining characters to the PvE server that my multiboxed toons are on.

I have been leveling my hunter solo, as I had no intention of multiboxing when I started playing again. He is level 77 now (Blizzard has continued to make leveling trivial, to the point where it's too fast. Gone are the days of running an instance multiple times in hopes of a particular item drop-- after one run, you're probably ready to move on to the next instance!). My shaman is 71. I haven't leveled any of the others. Well, that's not entirely true. Upon logging in my warlock, I realized that she was exactly a single experience point short of level 62 (literally! Her experience was at 316999/317000). So I quickly spec'ed her talents and sent her out to kill a single mob and she dinged 62.

In any case, the group's status is as follows:

Hunter- level 77. I will solo him to 80.
Shaman- level 71. I will solo her to 80.
(I really do enjoy both of those classes, and for the time being will just level them up solo, though I am tempted to team them up for some of the group quests that I've skipped. A BM hunter and resto shaman duo would have a tank, DPS, and healer after all.)
Priest- level 61. This one could be tricky. See explanation below.
Warlock- level 62. Would level via multiboxing.
Mage- level 61. Would level via multiboxing.
Paladin- level 61. Would level via multiboxing.

All of this assumes I'll want to multibox again. But if I thought I wasn't going to, I probably would not be making this update. :)

Assuming that I do, I would probably use the hunter and shaman to quickly level the group through Outland instances until level 70, and then see about questing in Northrend and running instances with a more conventional setup (paladin as lead character and tank). The only potential quirk is that the shaman and priest are on the same account. If I use the shaman to help power through instance runs, the priest gets left out. On the other hand, I'd rather have the shaman run Northrend instances, so it may not matter. One reason that they're on the same account is that the shaman can replace the priest as a main healer if I decided to go that route. But I would like to toy with the priest in the group as well. Perhaps I'll just use the hunter to level them through to 70. I don't know, it's a bridge that I won't have to cross for a while.

Until then, I'm working my way to 80 the old-fashioned way. And I must say that I am impressed with Blizzard's work on this expansion. The sense of scale is amazing, moreso when you traverse the zones on a flying mount. The zones are huge! The early zones are a sort of mish-mash of terrain and locations, and could have easily been made into multiple smaller zones. But zones like Zul'Drak, Icecrown, and Storm Peaks are just amazing to behold. These are lands carved out by titans, and your character just feels so incredibly small at times. It's really very cool.