In the fall of 2004, I was playing Everquest 2 primarily but the game was disappointing me horribly and many of my real life friends were running with WoW. As a result, I made the move shortly after WoW's release. It was difficult to leave EQ2 behind, as many of my EQ1 friends were giving EQ2 a run but after 34 levels on my troubadour, I just couldn't stomach the game as it was. Severe gameplay changes kept taking place to a degree where I didn't really know my role as a Troubadour. In EQ1, the role of the bard was to provide support to the raid and make everyone else in the group more effective. After a major change in which agility was adjusted and my primary song for melee characters was effectively nerfed into uselessness, I couldn't find groups and had to solo to level. Even with a PGT (Polished Granite Tomahawk, a heritage quest item with roots from EQ1, ahhh...Highpass Hold) which at the time was the best melee weapon I could use, soloing was painstaking. I eventually saw others dropping like flies and going back to EQ1 or quitting altogether. I decided to shelf EQ2 at that point, and focused on WoW exclusively.
Fast forward to today and my WoW character progression reads as follows:
- Started with a Night Elf Druid - got to level 34 and stopped playing the druid. At the time, the feral and balance tree were god awful.
- Switched servers and rolled an undead priest. Leveled to 60. Played primarily a healer role as I did in EQ1 (my main EQ1 toon was a cleric).
- Rolled an alt on that same server and leveled a tauren druid to 60. Once again, I played the healer role for a group of real life friends. At the time, druid healers were much different then they are today. I recall having to spec resto to really heal effectively early on (Wailing Caverns comes to mine). Nevertheless, I always enjoyed the druid class quite a bit in WoW.
- We did some raiding with the guild but I switched shifts at my job and found myself working primarily 2nd shift. As a result, I would always come home too late to do much of anything. The group of real life friends I had played with also migrated to other games or interest so I found myself solo frequently. I ran my priest as a disc/holy healbot for a while (GoGo power infusion version 1.0). I made many a warrior and mage happy but never really found a stable to play consistently. I contemplated quitting but I still enjoyed the game, I just didn't have people to enjoy the game with anymore.
- After several months of searching, I found a guild on a new server that was playing the game in my time frame. I asked what the guild needed and the response was a warrior. Thus, my current main toon was born. After several weeks, I was level 60 and this toon is now level 70.
- This fall, I caught the druid itch again and leveled a druid from 1 to 70 as well. What a difference a few years make! Mangle is just incredible and the balance tree is just a ton of fun. As it stands now, my druid is resto but come expansion time, I will revert back to feral for the level grind.
- Just recently, I rolled a mage. Our guild is very short on main mages so the next best thing is alt mages. She is only level 14 at the moment but with the new quest rewards, hopefully the leveling process will be short. I enjoy the content but at this point, we need mages badly.
I currently play a level 70 protection warrior, 70 restoration druid and a level 14 mage who has yet to spend any talent points. I am unsure as to how I wish to level her but I must admit, I am leaning toward frost. Frost seems more tactical and I find myself gravitating to that kind of gameplay frequently. By admission, I am a very numbers oriented player in most respects. I enjoy reading the theorycraft and will often experiment with builds and read some of the information the raiding community provides. Most mage boards seem to advocate leveling fire up to 40 and then respecing to deep frost for the elemental. Others just stick with the "Three minute mage" variants or a deep fire build. At any rate, I will start with the frost build and go forward and see if I enjoy the style or not.
My warrior is currently epicced out in mostly Karazhan gear. She sits at 15k hp unbuffed with around 505 defense. I am a bit concerned as her static dodge rate is nearly 24%, which will become a liability later in progression (See strats on Zul'Jin for specifics). As such, I will begin the process of waning some of the dodge gear out. Her current tanking spec is 12/5/44, which is an efficiency style build. It is designed for maximum rage efficiency at the expense of some mitigation and utility. There are positives and negatives to all builds and this particular build has served me very well throughout Karazhan although I am leaning toward 8/5/48 for ZA soon. 8/5/48 is the "cookie-cutter" tanking build in the game but there are different variations to it. Some choose Improved Defense Stance while others choose Improved Shield Wall. I personally see little difference with Improved Defense Stance this early in progression. 3 talent points for 6% seems like a stretch. To qualify, a 5,000 aoe attack with improved defensive would only mitigate 300 damage. This seems useless to me at least for three talent points. Further along in progression, 6% spell damage may make a difference; currently it does not. So, until the need arises, I'll stick with my 12/5/44 and maximize threat per rage.
My druid currently sits with a mish mash of Karazhan epics, quest items, PVP gear and green junk. Nevertheless, she sits at around +1150 healing and wakes in fear of the upcoming Lifebloom healing coefficient nerf. I am not looking forward to this as it basically relegates druids a distant fourth for PVE healing. There may even be questions as to exactly how useful a druid healer may be post patch to a degree where we see fewer druid healers and more druid tanks. There is supposedly a tank shortage serverwide. This seems like a rather nasty way to increase tank population. Again, this is speculation but if the PTR changes go through, it will be interesting to see how much this change hurts.
So, in a nutshell (or in this case a blog) that is how I ended up playing WoW and now provide the masses with some insights to my gaming. Any suggestions regarding how to spec a baby mage are more then welcome as my knowledge of the classes is marginal. Until next time...