My tauren monk (Amoodala, queen of the Namoo!) has been level 90 for a week now, hooray! In a lot of games, (and in my previous experiences of hitting the level cap in World of Warcraft) hitting the highest level and end game feels like the “end,” especially if you’re not into raiding. You get the “now what?” feeling, and then start leveling an alt. Or maybe that’s just me.
But I think I’m even more in love with my monk at this point, because I feel like life in Warcraft is just beginning for her now. There’s a lot that didn’t become available to me until I hit the cap, and I like that. Though I hated the fact that I couldn’t work ahead on rep for groups like the Tillers or Cloud Serpents until I hit 90 while I was leveling, I appreciate it now. And yes, while rep and daily quest “grinds” can be monotonous and of course repetitive, I like that they were fresh at end game because it gives me a purpose while I wait to raid or do heroics. And there’s so many different dailies and reputations! I also love scenarios, which I didn’t stumble upon until recently. I feel like there’s definitely been an effort made to keep end game busy these days compared to what I remember about end game back in vanilla or even some of the early expansions. I also LOVE that you can queue for random heroics, scenarios OR raids. That makes raiding a little more accessible for me, even though I’m in a guild. I have a ton of achievements I want to complete, too.
There’s also lots of reputations I want to work on, but this past week I focused on the Anglers, Tillers, and Cloud Serpents. I absolutely ADORED the little quest chain to pick out and hatch my cloud serpent hatchling, and that it “grew” with me as I grew my rep with daily Cloud Serpent quests. I also like that some of the dailies for various reputations involve my chosen professions – so I can cook, use first aid, and fish for additional Cloud Serpent daily reputation gains, too. (In addition to doing the normal cooking & fishing dailies.) Neat! I’ve also noticed a variety in the types of quests to make them a bit more fun – they’re not all just “kill x number of y mobs” … for example, to find a prize chicken in Valley of the Four Winds, I may end up having to punt or dip several chickens in a nearby lake first. Too funny. Yesterday I hit exalted with the Anglers and Cloud Serpents, so now I’m going to finish off Tillers rep and start hitting Shado-Pan and Golden Lotus.
I’m continuing to heal on my monk, and after hitting the cap I began playing around with my talents to change things up a bit. I’ve been doing some extensive reading on rotations to make sure I’m getting the most from my abilities, and learning as much as I can about being a good raid healer and raid healing specifically. While I’m not currently actively raiding yet, I’ll be queueing for LFR this week and I haven’t yet tired of doing heroics, either. I’m in no rush to raid hardcore, and am pleased with my current gear progression in heroics, what I can get in LFR, and weekly world boss kills. I helped down Oonasta for the first time last week, and it was a blast. And reminded me that I want to start working on getting a triceratops pet and mount. Let’s add that to my to do list now, too. while I’m at it.
Maybe it’s because there’s so much to do now that I’m 90, but either way, I feel differently at end game in Mists of Pandaria than I have in previous expansions of the game. I haven’t had the urge to even LOOK at any of my alts yet, though at some point I’ll probably want to level my druid up from 85 to 90 as well. (She’s already maxed alchemy from my monk sending her herbs for elixirs and potions to help leveling, hehe.) And I’m starting to itch to try out some PvP on this character… yet ANOTHER thing to keep me busy.
If you’re in game, you’ll find me as Amoodala on the Emerald Dream realm. You can also friend me on Raptr, and I’m open to exchanging realID friend requests, too. On Twitter I’m @geeksoap – let’s chat sometime!
My tauren Mistweaver monk hit 85 yesterday evening and officially headed out to Pandaria. Now I’m finally moving forward with that content, even though I hit 85 on my druid even before I created my monk. Time flies when you’re having fun I guess, and my monk has definitely taken over as my main.
I’ve spent the first whole evening on the new continent fishing, leveling inscription from all of the new herbs, and a few light quests along the way. I’m really in no hurry now and am just taking it all in. I’ve mostly spent time working on my professions; I’m about to do the quick “catch up” method and train cooking from 1-600 in a bit, after doing some exploring. Besides fishing up some goodies and planning for my cooking advancement, I’ve run about the first zone or two in order to grab flightpaths, check out the scenery, and of course… to at least go down and say hi to Nat Pagle and The Anglers down in the Krasarang Wilds. (One of my first priorities. Yes, it’s a sickness. I’m SO excited about The Anglers quests, dailies, and rep!)
Pandaria is beautiful. I’ve found several new favorite little fishing spots already that are incredibly serene, where I can relax among beautiful waterfalls, cherry blossom trees, and lush greenery while I cast. All of the architecture and bridges make for a really cool backdrop.
My only complaint is the abundance of the annoying Hozen everywhere. Ugh, I just want to slaughter them all.
I love my Mistweaver monk SO. MUCH. I had no idea what I was missing. (I’m still mad at some of you for not telling me.) Since my last post, my level 21 monk is now 60 and has recently hit Outlands. I’m trying to stay optimistic as I anticipate leveling through Hellfire Peninsula *again* … I despise that zone with a fiery passion. Outlands in general is going to be a bit of a trudge, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to breeze through with a smile on my face purely because I love my class that much. Let’s look at why, what I’ve learned so far, and how it compares to my druid experience.
The most important part? Leveling purely as a healer with a Mistweaver spec is totally viable. Whether solo questing or running dungeons. Really.
You see, long before the Cataclysm and long before draenei fell out of the sky, I leveled a druid. Like most, I leveled feral. Back in those days feral was THE leveling spec, especially on a PVP server; balance druids were fondly known as OOMkins instead of moonkins because they were always out of mana. I didn’t see as many of them. Back then, dual spec didn’t exist yet. Like most end-game healers at that time, I didn’t actually level as a healer. It just wasn’t viable because it was too slow and weak. So like most end-game healers, I leveled with a DPS spec and then switched to resto at the cap to heal dungeons and raids for my guild. The problem with that plan was that going from DPS to heals was a huge shift in how you’d approach a dungeon than what you’d been doing the previous 60 levels. AND your only practice with your whole new slew of healing spells and abilities was in high stakes situations… end-game instances. I’ve run into very few people (outside of guildies) who are terribly forgiving of an unorganized healer still learning the ropes of their new playstyle. Especially after wipe 7. Three hours into an instance. It felt so different that you might as well have purchased your toon off eBay. I don’t remember my growing pains as a new resto healer at end-game, but I was also in a good, close-knit guild, and I was usually in the secondary healer spot for awhile first, where I had the chance to learn and practice until I felt confident in holding my own or being the primary healer. (Which also required getting better gear.) It wasn’t bad for me, but I know a lot of people who leveled a DPS spec just to get to cap ASAP so they could switch to a heal spec and then hated it. It felt awkward, it didn’t come as naturally as the DPS spec that they knew like the back of their hand, or they didn’t like their new role of just standing around tossing out heals from the sideline instead of being in the thick of the action, topping damage meters. (I mean paladins in Molten Core days, honestly, did you get to do anything but stand around in plate refreshing your intricate, assigned buff rotation for your group?)
Don’t get me wrong. A lot has changed since those days. We’ve had several expansions & mechanics changes, and the introduction of dual spec allowed people to keep a heal spec on the side and practice healing instances sooner than only at end-game. I leveled two priests to 70 on two different servers during Burning Crusade. I tried healing with them, but it never brought me the joy that resto druid healing did. Rolling HoTs and AOE heals in tree form, watching all of the green numbers float above the raid… what a rush! I was okay being a tree on the sidelines avoiding combat and DPS meters. Because look at those heal numbers! Dual spec for me just meant I could switch to DPS spec for running solo daily quests, because resto questing was too painfully slow. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
But then I started leveling a Mistweaver monk last week. I’ve been able to level as a viable healer from day 1. Not only that, but in many instances I’ve run so far, I also top or am towards the top of the DPS meters, too. My (somewhat limited range of) DPS abilities usually will passively heal the group members around me enough that I don’t just have to stand on the sidelines and toss heals continuously. I get to contribute to the group’s damage output and be in the fray, too, and am encouraged to do so in order to boost my heals and be the most efficient healer I can be. Of course I have a wide variety of heal specific spells, and love my channeled and HoT mists. But to heal well, I NEED to fight, too! Combat gives me chi, and chi lets me do more DPS or use more powerful healing spells when they’re needed. It’s such a refreshing change to the old healer mechanics that I’m used to from back in the day. And because I’ve been a Mistweaver all along, I won’t have to re-learn my class at end-game.
(Side note: I know that as a Mistweaver my goal isn’t to top DPS meters, and my current experiences of doing so won’t always be the case. BUT just knowing I’m contributing MORE than simply keeping everyone alive is great. Some DPS is better than none! Traditional healers don’t usually get to do much, if any, damage. My focus is always on keeping everyone alive FIRST, but the added bonus of feeling even more useful is the icing on the cake AND the cherry on top.)
I admit that I’ve been dungeon hopping since hitting level 15 and getting access to the random dungeon queue. I’d even go as far as to say that dungeons have been my main source of leveling experience thus far. My queues are short as a healer, and the loot helps me keep my non-heirloomed slots upgraded pretty regularly. It’s also great practice. I like that you can pick up dungeon quests at the beginning of the run for added experience. But in between queues I have been doing some light questing, too. I say light because dungeons have leveled me so quickly that I never finish all the quests in an area before I outlevel them. So I’m constantly on the move; focusing on questing in areas whose routes allow me to steadily level herbalism, always my favorite gathering profession. I mill stacks of herbs to level inscription, and send the rest to my alchemist druid so that she can make me elixirs and potions to keep me buffed for dungeons. Rinse, repeat.
So far it’s been an amazing journey. I love my Mistweaver more and more each day. It’s so fun to be in the thick of combat and healing at the same time. When I solo quest, I’m simultaneously healing myself during combat and can take on mobs several levels above me without having to stop fighting to heal myself manually or deal with interrupts and pushback. Once I hit level 56 and got Mana Tea, I felt like my downtime was reduced even further with a way to replenish mana without having to drink between big pulls. It just keeps getting better and better. Seriously, when I saw not only green floating heal numbers, but yellow floating DPS numbers during Spinning Crane Kick as I healed AND damaged multiple targets at the same time, I was giddy. I can’t get enough.
Last night I hit level 60 and Outlands. While I hate Hellfire Peninsula, I’m looking forward to being able to increase my herbalism and inscription cap. I’ve managed to keep on top of both professions in between dungeon runs to a point where I have to gain a few adventure levels before I can continue increasing profession levels. Not the worst problem to have; better than having to put the brakes on leveling to catch up professions I guess. I miss cooking and fishing, though, both professions that I have on my druid. I think I’ll check out the 1-600 “catch up” cooking method in Pandaria once I hit 85, and start fishing during my downtime just because. (Why not?)
Even though my druid is level 86, I have a feeling my monk has already become my new main. To be continued…
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