Monday, October 4, 2010

The story of my alts

So I've been 80 with my new Moonkin for a while now and have already gotten my hands on a good chunk of gear.  I hopped on the Random Battleground wagon when I hit the level cap, and although I'd been gaining reputation with the Northrend factions in order to buy myself decent PvE gear, I still obviously got facerolled by the full Furious/Relentless players.

Nonetheless, the system makes for some easy honor (and lots of frustration-inducing AFKers), and I'm now fully outfitted in Wrathful/Relentless off-gear (Relentless for the boots and belt, Wrathful for the neck, back, wrists, and ring).  All I'm missing now to be in full PvP gear is the Furious set - I would buy the Relentless one, but I do not have enough arena points, as I haven't been adamant about finding a good arena partner yet.  Additionally, I've gotten my hands on Battlemaster's Ruination, which is a trinket I really enjoy having.

I've also been working on PvE gear.  I'm in full T9 and sporting a friendly Ashen Verdict ring and Unspeakable Secret from Pit of Saron normal.  I'm now slightly over the hit cap and sitting at a comfortable 5k GearScore.  That said, my real GS is more around 4k, due to a total lack of gems and enchants, which will come later.  Seeing as I just got my last T9 item, I've slowed things down and been working on other things.  I hadn't worked on any professions while leveling up due to the 3x rates, and so I've picked up Enchanting and Jewelcrafting.  I've hit 375 with Enchanting and I'm waiting for my Blacksmith friend to feed me some rods to continue.  I'm quite low on gold so I am trying to minimize all my costs, and so consequently my Jewelcrafting skill is close to nil - however, I have been leveling an alt with which I am farming materials with the Mining profession.

And this alt is what I want to talk about.  But first -

History of my alts
While I played at Spermik, I used to have a philosophy about alts - I wanted them only for the purpose of knowing how to better defeat them with my Moonkin main.  I had created a character of each race and of each class, with the intention to level them all, so that I could become the best PvP Balance Druid ever.

What a laugh :)

First, I had created each alt based on a race/class combination I found "typical."  This meant that when you logged on my Spermik account, you could see this:
  • Night Elf Druid
  • Draenei Shaman
  • Dwarf Hunter
  • Human Paladin
  • Gnome Mage
  • Undead Warlock
  • Troll Rogue
  • Tauren Warrior
  • Blood Elf Priest
  • Orc Death Knight

The Orc race and the Death Knight class being my least favorite, I had decided to put them both together.  And as you can guess, I never got really far with any of these characters.

My Shaman made it to level 12, until I got bored with the Draenei starter place (though in retrospect, I think I would enjoy it if I tried it again). Not to mention it felt too much like my Moonkin, with Lightning Bolt being too similar to Wrath (same cast time, same travel time, same sound - it's even from the same school of magic).

I didn't enjoy Paladin that much either.  I felt my melee damage was weak and as though I didn't have enough buttons to press, due to cooldown limitation.  To be honest, I can't remember that much about it, though.  I stopped at level 10.

Hunter was a little different.  I actually thought I'd get somewhere with it, because I easily breezed through the first 15 levels and quickly had enough buttons to work with that had decent synergy.  But I gave up on it after that, with my Moonkin stealing my attention and because I am not such a fan of the Hunter style.  I don't like the sound and feel of the gunshots, and although that may seem like a minor thing, I wasn't about to start seriously playing a class whose playstyle I didn't really enjoy.

I'll skip talking about my Priest and Death Knight.  I didn't get past level 9 with my Priest, and not past level 56 with my Death Knight.  I found Priest boring and Death Knight confusing - not confusing in the sense that I didn't know what to do, but rather in the sense that everything was a right decision.  I just mashed buttons and killed stuff.  It sucked.  I didn't feel like I was really doing something definitive.  Every ability felt the same.

I got to level 16 with my Troll Rogue.  I enjoyed it a little, but Barrens was just too boring, and as time went by, I became more and more hostile to the idea of playing a Horde character.  In fact, today I've decided I'd never play a non-Alliance toon.

And now, finally, we're left with the classes that I actually liked.  Let's start with the Mage.  He was the first character I began leveling with heirlooms.  And by that, I mean full heirlooms.  Chestpiece, shoulderpads, staff, trinket, trinket.  I loved the control I didn't have with my Moonkin.  I feel much more in control with Shatter than with Eclipse, though the animation is, of course, not so epic.  I made it to level 41, but there were some things I didn't enjoy - like Frostbolt spam.  Not only was this not fun, but I didn't like the casting sound, either. Maybe that should be negligible, but I figure that if you're going to be constantly spamming a spell, it should have a decent sound to boot.  Maybe I just don't like the Frost theme.

Then came the Warlock, an Undead, who didn't make it past level 6.  Again, I didn't enjoy the starter place - probably because I wasn't reading the quests and the entire area is gloomy.  As with Azumeryst Isle, I'm sure that if I made an effort to appreciate the area, I would greatly enjoy it.  I remade a Warlock later, a Human that time, and gave it my Mage's heirlooms.  Quite some time had passed between the 1st Warlock and the 2nd, and my mastery of the game had increased.  On the Undead toon, I didn't like the Imp.  He slowed me down, as I tried to juggle between controlling both my character and my minion.  On the Human toon, however, it sped me up.  I macro-ed Firebolt and Shadow Bolt and burned down mobs before they got near me.  I got to level 25 and stopped there.  And it wasn't because I didn't like the class - it was because I started getting tired of always playing casters.

So then came my final alt.  The best one.

Protection Warrior
As time went by, I really started wanting a tank.  There were several reasons for this, I think.  One of them was that my guild was growing, as well as my interest in PvE.  I wanted to do guild raids, but although we had good DPS and healers, we didn't have one, single guild tank.

Furthermore, I was getting increasingly frustrated at the incompetence of other tanks, such as those who love to turn Sartharion around in all sorts directions, constantly exposing the entire raid to Tail Lash and Flame Breath.  In fact, I'd hardly been able to find OS runs with tanks who actually knew how to do the job right, resulting in endless wipes when the raid would take lots of unnecessary damage while the healers were stunned.  To top it off, this failure was often attributed to lack of gear.  Please -.-

Tanks like a very particular Draenei Protection Paladin that still sticks out in my mind, with whom I spent a whole night running 5-man heroics for Emblem farming.  Without the good healer we had, we would have wiped several times.  He spoke enough English to get himself in groups, but not enough to understand anything else.  He would run into mobs when no one was ready, attacking those flagged for CC, and when we tried to explain to him that he should slow down, he would respond with "?" and zoom into another pack of mobs.

One final reason I wanted a tank was the responsibility aspect of it.  You always need a tank, and you always need that tank to be good.  If you're not a great DPS, the other DPS can pick up your slack.  If you're not a great healer, it matters a little more, but that can always be compensated by having more healers, or someone off-heal, someone throwing you an Innervate, or having other healers that are really good.  But if you're a tank, you can't be bad.  That responsibility, that challenge, is something I find quite appealing.

And so I made a Human Protection Warrior (and deleted my previous Tauren Warrior, whose spec I had not decided on anyway).  And oh, did I love it.  The heirlooms most likely helped with the experience.  Here is what I had:

I felt absolutely overpowered. Nothing could kill me. I'd purposely run into huge packs of mobs, because 1v1 was just too bland. At level 32, I soloed the level 40 Colonel Kurzen quest, without dying once, which was nothing short of exhilarating.  Especially because after I finally downed Kurzen, his level 38-39 goons started spawning again and attacked me before I could get my HP back to full.  I ended up juggling between cooldowns and bandages for a steady 1 minute at about 10% health, and came out victorious.

Once I hit level 35, however, is when I quit Spermik to head over to Molten.  But now that I've outfitted my main with decent gear, I've made my Human Protection Warrior again, and although this time he has no heirlooms at all, I'm still greatly enjoying it.

Conclusion for now
At the time of posting this, he is currently level 66.  Now I will admit, I'm really not good at PvP with it.  I've had several confrontations and most did not go so well - though that has improved ever since I picked up Warbringer.  I'm currently deciding on a PvE build as well as a PvP one, and I will talk about these later.  That said, at this point I'm not focusing too much on PvP, as I created my Warrior with the purpose of doing PvE content.

When I started this post, I originally intended to talk about Protection talents and abilities, which ones I liked / didn't like, which ones gave me doubts, and I wanted to compare them to those of my Moonkin.  However, in light of how long I've dragged this out, I'll keep it for a later post.

So in the meantime - have a good day :)

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