Tobold's Blog
Monday, November 15, 2010
Grapes of Wrath

I had a 4-day weekend with constant rain over here, which lead to me spending a lot of time online playing World of Warcraft [Edit: 30 hours played in the last 7 days according to the play time report I just received.]. As a result I'm way ahead of my schedule, and finished all my remaining goals I still had for the Wrath of the Lich King. My bank alt shaman got to level 65, and learned his portable mailbox for easier bank-alting. And my druid hit level 80, bringing me up to five level 80 characters.

I wouldn't say I have "finished" Wrath of the Lich King, for example I am not among the half million players who killed Arthas. But that was definitively due to lack of even trying, as I found WotLK raiding not that much fun: Too much "Super Mario Brothers" or "Simon Says" or "Don't stand in the fire", however you want to call that, and not enough focus on actually playing your class, if you know what I mean. I'm looking forward to Cataclysm, where at least healing appears to require more thinking (3 of my 5 level 80s are healers), and hope that Cataclysm raiding has a bit more tactical fights that require players to think on their feet instead of raid encounters resembling some sort of complicated ballet where the most important thing is that everybody stands at exactly the right position at the right time. Maybe I'll get to kill Arthas when I'm level 85 in some fun guild outing.

For the remaining three weeks I'll still play my druid a bit. I like playing dungeons, even if sometimes I have the impression that I'm the only blogger who doesn't hate pickup groups. And as fresh level 80 running heroics is at its most fun, because you can still find loot you actually need. I spent some justice points on a relic, and bought some cheap epics from the AH, but the rest I'm trying to get from dungeons. I'd rather save some justice points for Cataclysm. Maybe I'll also stock up on justice points with some of my other characters, so I'm not getting rusty playing those. I find it very interesting to play through the same content with three different healers, because it emphasizes the differences in healing styles, and makes me understand the strengths and weaknesses of the different healing classes much better.

One thing I was a bit disappointed about was seeing on my trainer that my druid won't get any new spells and abilities in Cataclysm. He is restoration and balance spec, and all the new abilities from level 80 to 85 are for feral. I got my last new spell at level 78, Nourish. And the tooltip and description of that spell fail to mention that it refreshes Lifebloom, so I had to ask another druid from my guild what that slow, weak healing spell was actually good for. But now I already practiced using it, putting three Lifeblooms on the tank and then just spamming Nourish. That results in a pretty good and consistent healing output at minimal mana cost. Yes, I know that mana isn't an issue at level 80, but as far as I know it will be at level 85, and practicing how to heal mana efficiently might result in some vital skills for Cataclysm. As I'm old enough to remember "healing rotations" in vanilla WoW raiding, I think I'm well prepared for the announced healing changes.

So in summary, I did everything in this expansion what I wanted to, and am prepared for the next expansion. Overall I enjoyed Wrath of the Lich King a lot more than I liked Burning Crusade. But I took one long break and had several periods of low play intensity during the two years, so ultimately the biggest flaw of WoW expansions for me is that Blizzard never made good on their promise to accelerate them to a one expansion per year rhythm.
Are you saying you liked WotLK more and played it less than TBC? I am honestly curious.

Especially for your reasons, if it is true.
No, I took even longer breaks during TBC. I would say I played more during WotLK, mainly because of the Dungeon Finder.

What I'm saying is that none of the expansions up to now delivered 2 full years worth of content for me, so there is always periods where I unsubscribe.
Hi Tobold, you said you liked the dungeon finder and playing PUGs. Actually it is one of the tools that made me decide to actually come back as a Goblin caster class. I hope to play Cataclysm casually one or two evening sessions a week using the Dungeon finder from level 15 as my main means of having fun while leveling. Added into that mix doing the essential quests (which those are i need to find out, do you know?)for nice stories, items, titles, mounts, pets etc.

Could you write something about your experience leveling character casually in the current state of WOW? Maybe elaborate on using the dungeon finder mixed into a play session and what makes it fun? Also how important is server selection when coming back?
Lotro for 3 weeks?

I have no expectation that it will tempt you away from Cataclysm but it could be a pleasant diversion. As a lifetime subber you can take or leave the cash shop as you see fit.
"And the tooltip and description of that spell fail to mention that it refreshes Lifebloom..."

...because the baseline spell doesn't refresh Lifebloom, but rather, the talent Empowered Touch adds that benefit (also adds it to Healing Touch). The talent is definitely more useful is you are tank healing, but very "meh" when raid healing.
Weren't druids going to get a balance spell called Wild Mushroom or something at 85? Or did they get rid of that?
Good for you for achieving your goals. I've set some personal goals to hit before Cata and I'm rapidly reaching the point where I've accomplished them or likely won't, but they're nothing earth shattering, anyway.

One tip, though. Your mention about the tooltip reminded me that under Interface --> Help they auto-checked the box for "Simple Tooltips" when 4.01 came out and that's likely why it doesn't mention that Nourish refreshes Lifebloom. If you uncheck that box you get much more detailed tooltips.
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