On leveling grinds

January 18, 2011

I plan to blog more on the ongoing political struggle and violent rhetoric therefrom, but life goes on. Nice to see Gabby is recovering, though she can’t speak due to the trache. Been there.

Leveling my third toon now, the belfadin alt — she serves more than one purpose, of course. As a miner, she’s gobbling up enough ore to help my DK get the blacksmithing up, and proceeding with her jewelcrafting besides. I am also training on her as a healer. Cuts into my questing/mining, but oh well. You don’t train holy spec questing. You train in dungeon runs. For me, that means pugs, as most of the guild is concentrating on their 85 mains, with leveling alts as solo side projects. Me too. Oh, but we must build guild loyalty and do more guild runs — ah, shut up MT.

As bad as the heroics are, it is interesting to get an in-depth look at the dungeons while leveling. My other 85s did not get nearly so much dungeon time. The DK got maybe 1 dungeon per level; the priest got less. The levels go too fast when you’re completing zones, especially with rested XP. But the pally gets a couple a night, when I can afford to play her. An awful lot of regular dungeon running is pure facerolling; groups can go through the sub-85 dungeons with no CC, hardly any strategy, and perhaps 90% of the dungeon is perfectly fine. Maybe 100%.

Then the pug came up with Stonecore.

Stonecore was merely a setback!

The expansion’s been out for over a month now, so I assume the majority of players have seen this place at least once. I got into the one group left that hadn’t. Hilarity ensued, as the pally tank would throw his Captain America shield and ignore the fact that Milhouse Manastorm would not run to him. In the regular dungeon, I could heal myself through the consequent aggro — so I just laughed at the stupid, repeated mistake, and the trash was cleared.

The group was well represented with belfadins, with me, the tank and a retnoob besides. hawt. The rest were a shadow priest and…some other plate melee, warrior/DK. It didn’t matter which.

Ozruk was no joke, though. We indeed broke ourselves upon his body…mainly the two melee, who repeatedly stood in the Shatter, went flying, lost most of their health, and blithely ran back in to do it again. And again. It didn’t even one-shot them, and I was left thinking, do you guys think you’re supposed to stand in that? Eventually I gave up on them but by then it was too late. After that, the group croaked it when the tank’s home server crashed. His ghost was trapped in Stonecore, his corpse unreachable for a rez. Done.

Well, done for me at any rate. That’ll teach me for healing melee. We probably could have finished it with me, the tank and the shadow priest. I know this might come off as one of the many ‘I hate Stonecore’ stories I read on the net, but really it’s not. A year from now, heroic Stonecore may be the only one left that mildly challenges anyone. It’s the next Halls of Stone. That’s assuming that Blizzard doesn’t nerf it for a million whining morons and slackers…

Eh, who am I kidding.

Eat it, Ozruk. You don’t have any friends. Nobody likes you.

The leveling, normal dungeons seem to me a place to train your class’ abilities, to get comfortable with them. Challenging at times, but not that often. The pure chaos of the occasional surprise pull was fun, but not even that was a guaranteed wipe. If the tank was sufficient to keep most of the junk off me I could heal and heal and heal my ass off and it would eventually fall. It takes an awful lot of incoming damage to stress the pally’s mana out.

I know the stress level will skyrocket in heroics, so normal dungeons are the best place to get used to what everything is, what it can do, where your buttons are. Not something you want to be thinking about in the midst of a heroic boss fight!

I have to say this much, though, pally healing is much nicer than I remember it being back in Wrath. When I tried it before, it used to be watch that beacon (it never lasted long enough) and heals could hit maybe someone and the tank. AoE damage was frightful. Now, beacon lasts 5 minutes, and pally heals can hit one guy, beacon-hit the tank, and the healer gets a little splash too. Three for the price of one. Plus holy power mechanics, unlocking some instant heals (single or group).

I fully expect to gingerly step into my first heroic healing job with this pally in a week or two and it’ll be agony like a bath in acid, but oh well. I like a challenge.


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