Status report: one week into the Mists

As I wrote last week, I hit level 90 late Thursday afternoon, and yet at the time I was so exhausted that I could give very little info on what I did, how things went, and what I’m up to now. This post will serve to rectify that a bit.

Spec & pet report

I wrote about my leveling spec shortly before launch. I had decided to run as SV with a wolf and turtle as my main pets, with the wolf as Ferocity giving me the 5% Crit buff and the turtle as a tank with his Shell Shield. In all honestly, though, I stayed with the turtle for most of the process for two reasons: 1) on Day One, the mob respawn rate was so awfully high that I was able to take down large amounts of spawns in the starting areas without him dying, and 2) in the higher zones, the mobs were often close together, so I could likewise Misdirect them all to him and mow them down while keeping him alive. In one area in particular – Krasarang Wilds – I went with the wolf, because that area was full of enough people that there was competition for mobs, but not enough that the respawn rate was personally dangerous, and so focus-firing a Krasari hunter was a 10-15-second process with little in the way of survival concerns.

The talents and glyphs I chose served me well in this way. Of those talents that would be different from my ‘dungeon/raid’ talents, Spirit Bond keeps the HP flowing, Fervor is nice mid-pull when you need focus for a damage burst to bring you closer to Kill Shot, and Blink Strike likewise contributes with burst from the pet. As glyphs go, Mending was perfect for pet survival – particularly in the Dread Wastes, where the mobs can be pretty punishing in packs – and Misdirection is a proven must-have glyph for leveling, and performed as such.

I’ve found this spec to continue to be superior to my dungeon spec for daily quests now that I’m 90, and I’ve also used it in every scenario I’ve done with the exception of a time in Arena of Annihilation, where we had a Blood DK locking down the bosses. Contrary to Blizzard’s claims, having someone who can tank in your group often makes the scenario go more smoothly, so I go into them with this spec by default.

When I qualified for heroic dungeons, I remade my old extreme soloing MM spec into my main dungeon SV spec, with notable changes from the leveling one. Talent-wise, Spirit Bond, Fervor, and Blink Strike were out, and Iron Hawk, Dire Beast, and A Murder of Crows replaced them. I’ve found these changes to be suitable, although Fervor might be superior to Dire Beast on trash pulls when you need instant focus to pop out a couple more Multishots. I’m still getting accustomed to using Crows on boss fights – learning on the fly how to open my rotation with the correct combination of shots and buffs before using Readiness – but overall, it’s working for me. For raids, I might be inclined to make Fervor / Dire Beast swaps between trash and bosses, but in dungeons most tanks run right into the boss from the trash, so I’m leaving it as is for now.

At level 90, I took Glaive Toss for both specs. It’s not wow-ing me, but I don’t hate it. One thing I love about it is that I can cast it on the move, since it’s an instant shot. I wasn’t excited about the other two, which have 3-second base cast times, because if I wanted to Aimed Shot, I’d go Marks. That may seem dismissive, but the reality is that, at current Haste levels, neither shot feels practical to me in a dungeon environment.

What annoys me, on the other hand, is that the mob I’m targeting always seems to move to the front right as I’m pressing the Glaive Toss button, minimizing the ‘strikes all enemies along the way’ feature. That may just be me and bad luck – I’m working to improve as I get more dungeon experience with it.

Oh, and it definitely does look cool.

Edit: If anyone wants to check out my builds, here’s a link to my armory page. I’m not sure that there’s anything there of interest, but perhaps there is. Main spec is dungeon/raid spec, off-spec is quest spec.

Dailies & Reputation report

I was doing dailies before 90, since I was able to take some with the Klaxxi while doing their quests. When I got to 90, though, I picked up the legendary quest line from Wrathion, started Golden Lotus dailies, and went into the Klaxxi, Tillers, and Anglers full-bore. Since Shado’pan and August Celestials dailies don’t become available until we hit revered with Golden Lotus, and Golden Lotus quest mobs give rep with The Black Prince, I got started on them right away. As of right now, I’ve done all the dailies for those four factions every day since Thursday, which played no small part in my ability to cap Valor points before today’s reset and got me well on my way toward the gear I want.

I haven’t started on the Cloud Serpent quests, although I probably should. They don’t have any real gear, and my toon isn’t a JC, so they aren’t a priority. However, I do want to knock out that 25-Panda-dailies-in-a-24-hr-reset-period achievement soon, so perhaps I’ll head over there this afternoon.

One thing to note is that they changed JP gear to not require reputation. I went and got the chest piece from the August Celestials last night, although JP is so difficult to get without spending scads of hours in dungeons that I don’t know if I’ll need any more JP gear on this toon by the time I have enough points (I already bought the bracers from the Klaxxi last week). Hopefully, I’ll score some gloves in a heroic and won’t need to buy any.

Professions report

Mushan is a Leatherworker and Blacksmith, and so it pained me mildly to see the wealth of Ghost Iron Ore out there for the picking. However, I got my druid (currently 88) and warrior (almost 86) skinning and mining, respectively, and was able to level both crafting profs (LW on two toons!) and both gathering profs to 600 fairly quickly.

The enchant options seem sick at the moment. For Leatherworking, the wrist embossment gives 500 Agility, and the legs have 285 Agility and 185 Critical Strike. With sockets in my gloves and bracers via Blacksmithing, I have red gems. It feels good to have all of those complete and available.

Gear report

I’m not the most geared guy in the world, by any stretch. While I leveled relatively fast, the effort tired me considerably, and so I’ve been conservative in the number of dungeons I’ve entered. However, I do have some 463 gear – belt, ring, and crossbow – from heroics, as well as the trinket from Direbrew. Every piece of gear is blue except for my gloves and boots, and none of it is PvP gear. Overall, I feel like I’m in a good place.

One thing I will recommend (as have Lissana and Darkbrew) is to get the quest for the Arena of Annihilation if you need a blue weapon – the scenario is easy and fun, and the ilvl 450 quest crossbow at the end is totally worth it. Arena is the first scenario I did at 90, and is probably my favorite (although I admittedly have others that I haven’t tried).

Closing

Overall, I’m in good shape. I don’t expect that we will begin raiding for a couple of weeks yet, so I have time to sink my teeth into rep grinding, scenarios, and heroic dungeons. More soon!

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Thanks for reading this post by Mushan at Mushan, Etc. Comments are welcome!


Level 90!

I hit level 90 at approximately 4:30 pm Eastern on Thursday, after almost exactly 30 hours of time /played (total time minus bio/stretch breaks, sleep – about 11 hours over two sessions –  and meals, basically) over a 46 hour period. Then I took a shower.

Yes, leveling quickly isn’t the healthiest way to live, particularly when you do it the way I did – late nights, marathon quest sessions, short sleep sessions, and not enough caffeine (as weird as that sounds, I leveled to 90 without soda, coffee, chocolate, Red Bull, or 5 Hour Energy). Wednesday morning from 4-11 am, I got seven hours of sleep – which is a nice chunk – but that’s because my body simply wouldn’t function without it.

I have all kinds of thoughts on the expansion so far, but I don’t know if I will write about most of them now. For one, they may make better separate posts. Additionally, I don’t know if I have the will or energy to even do much here today.

At any rate, I hit up the Golden Lotus dailies, as well as the Klaxxi and the Tillers. Halfhill is such a cluster right now that I wasn’t exactly thrilled to be doing it, and in my exhaustion I initially got pissed off about my lack of understanding about how it worked. So I did what you do in situations like that: just do the quests, dammit! Now I’m all settled in and learning how to make all kinds of yummy and beneficial foods…

I’ve done a couple of scenarios – Arena of Annihilation and Crypt of Forgotten Kings – and have enjoyed them immensely more than Theramore. For both scenarios, I went with my leveling spec, and, particularly for Crypt, I was able to pet tank – and to do so effectively – as Survival, as we had three DPS for both scenarios. That was fun for me. The new true taunt that pets have now is great, because a couple of these guys already out-geared me by quite a bit.

I’ve also done three of the four dungeons that aren’t heroic – Shado’Pan is the only holdout – and intend to do some more this evening, or more scenarios. Or both. I just reached ilvl 441, thanks to getting my Brewfest trinket on my fourth try today, so I will likely hit up some heroics this weekend.

I enjoyed the leveling experience, and am enjoying the end game so far. Other than that, there isn’t much to report. Or, there is, but I’m too tired to sort it all out and get it down “on paper” for you to read. I have many thoughts that I’ll write about later, but I have to get myself presentable and go to work tonight! More thoughts to come.

Hope you’re all having a lot of fun!!

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Thanks for reading this post by Mushan at Mushan, Etc. Comments are welcome!


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