Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Setting a course at 80

Some players make a huge effort in order to make the circumstances of their level cap dinging match the importance of the event. Their preferences vary – some want to ding mid-air, discovering a new zone – others want to turn in a certain quest or see to that they’re in an instance, surrounded by friends who can give praise and applauses. And of course those players make sure to capture the happening in a beautiful screenshot.

I’m not one of those players. When I dinged 80 the other night it was in the most unglamorous manner you could think of, killing an earth elemental in Storm Peaks. It dropped… whatever. It was as random as it could be. The reason was that I had been questing in this zone for a while. When I approached 80, all of my current quests seemed complicated. You know the kind of quests where you’re supposed to find npc:s hiding god knows where, use technical devices, clicking stuff or riding stuff but not killing stuff. That’s fun but not when you’re eager to ding. I wanted raw and simple xp like the one you get in Sholazar Basin. But I didn’t want to spend time switching zones just to find a kill-12-boar-quest in disguise. Instead I headed to the giants who give out daily quests to see if they had anything suitable for me. They did.

Immediately after dinging I went to grab my new spells. And then I activated my last inscription spot and put my last talent point before forgetting about it. But what should I do next?
Starting endgame at 80 is quite different to me to how it was to enter endgame at 70. At that point I had a very vague idea about what would await me beyond the cap. I had heard about Karazhan though, so I started the attunement chain since it seemed as a nice project. But I wasn’t in any hurry at all and my goals were still unclear.

Now I’ve got a deadline: right after Christmas we’ll start our 25 man raiding in Naxx. And by then I should be prepared – with better gear than my current (I’ve hardly had any upgrades at all in the expansion so far) – and with consumables and gold for repair available. The question is what road to pick to get there. I was standing in the middle of a crossroad, with a huge to-do-list.
  • I need reputation with a number of factions in order to buy upgrades.
  • I need to level my professions to support me with gear, elixirs and food.
  • I need gold, which I could get at a decent speed if I kept questing – I still haven’t touched Grizzly Hills, Zul’Drak, Crystalsong or Icecrown.
  • I need tons of Emblems of Heroism for badge gear.
  • I may need to PvP – at least it used to be a (not altogether accepted) way to gear up to a decent level quickly.
  • I even need to level my alt Arisal, since she’s the one who’s supposed to provide herbs to Larísas alchemy business.

I felt like Alice in Wonderland, looking at all those signs pointing in every direction, everyone claiming to be the way to go. Then I realized that maybe the choice wasn’t that crucial after all. Actually any of the available paths will lead to the destination – to become raid ready. It’s more about how to make the journey enjoyable – what aspect of the game do I like most? Any road goes. The only thing that doesn’t work well is getting paralyzed or randomly jumping between all of the roads, spreading out my efforts so much that I don’t progress on any of them.

The road of the heroics
As I was standing in the streets of Dalaran, still scratching my head, I noticed a new blue exclamation mark on the map. It led to the daily heroic dungeon quest. And then I knew I had set my course. I joined the LFG channel and a few minutes later I entered my first heroic instance in WotLK, ready to get the first emblem of many in my greedy little hands.

Doing as many heroics as possible will be my main occupation in the game from now on. If I’m lucky I’ll get drops – and I’ll always get badges and loads of frostweave cloth for gear and reputation with the faction of my choice.

Above all: I’ll be able to play in group, which is what I like to do, practicing my new spell rotations, experimenting on how to make the best use of novelties as Hot streak, Living bomb and Mirror image (which have made the life of a mage more fun, but also a lot more complicated).

I have set a course and I’ve got a huge smile on my face. It’s a new beginning.


Funeral said...

Awesome post. You totally described the feelings I'm having as I fast approach 80. My head is spinning thinking about what I'm going to do after. Unfortunately for me my guild is made up of people who live in the same city as me and not a raiding guild. It looks like PvP is going to be my default end game... that and heroics.

I am still trying to think of a way to make my level 80 ding something that is at least amusing. No ideas yet.

Gevlon said...

I'm 79.5, but my lvl 70 ding was just as glorious as yours, it was an undead Arakkoa in Terokkar. Most probably my lvl 80 will happen today or tomorrow questing in Storm Peaks (or if that's completed, in Icecrown).

My post 80 plans are plain simple. Put on the ilvl 200 gear I got crafted, buy a decent ring, get 15 badges for the epic lifebloom idol, than find a guild doing 25mans.

Malygos beware!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on 80

I never thought about doing anything special for my 80 ding. Never did anything crazy for 60 or 70. However, now you have me thinking! /headache

I agree with your reasoning for running heroics - 5 mans are one of my favorite things to do in the game.

Have fun!

Anonymous said...

Im jelous i need to get to 80 now :-(

Cant wait to just be flying again at 77 for starters.

Wont be long till your full epic and ready to raid it seems there so easy to get now a days.

Dragon's Den said...

Hey ..gratz Larisa.

Now you've set me thinking. Never thought about dinging 80 in a stylish manner before.

I hit 76 on my druid walking through a hut door and my hunter Draigg ain't far behind so I'll have to come up with something special for them.

Killing a murloc would be one - fitting revenge for years of abuse at their hands.

Rich said...

First time reader, followed a link from Tobold's.

he whole 'don't want my XP to be overly complicated near 80' hit a chord.

I specced my lock to a specfic spec that will allow me to just gather up 20 mobs, and AoE everything down, and the first 80 in the world was a lock using this same spec.

I tried it for an hour or so, and while impressive, it took the fun out of the game and went too far in that extreme mentioned above.

I've been questing, and while any time I need to kill a mob, I usually just pull 12, I feel like just grinding out my last level in this fashion alone would be ... I dunno... gross. The option is always there, but for now I'm not in a huge rush for that last ding.

Wrath isn't going anywhere, no need to hurry up and wait for the next one already ;)

Chris said...

I must admit to making a vanity 80 ding.

Though more for getting to say "I want this nightmare to be over" then dinging than any particular location.

Good luck in heroics Lar, soon you too will be rolling in those silly badges :P.

Anonymous said...

@Funeral: Oh I think you can look forward to a more relaxed way of seeing endgame since you're not planning to raid. For me there's a deadline. Reaching 80 is essential, but I also need to be prepared for raiding gearwise. I love raiding, but it certainly puts a bit of stress on you if your gaming time is somewhat limited. Still I guess you've got a few choices to make yourself. Your choice is about what's fun to do.. mine is too, but also about how-to-prepare-the-best-way-for-raiding.

@Gevlon: oh, I can't help envying you a bit about all the gold and gear you've collected. You're really a master in gold making, and I admire you for that. Still I guess I'm well off too having a nice, well working raiding guild which I sincerely think will last for a very long time and will remain my home. That's a jewel you can't buy for any gold in the world. So I don't complain.

@Wtfspagetti: thank you! Sorry about putting silly ideas into your head, especially since I wasn't caught by the ding-with-style bug myself.

@Esdras: getting the mount at 77 is a huge help. And the xp demand doesn't increse as much as it did in TBC, so the last few levels weren't really bad. I've got no idea how long it will take me to full epic gear. It took me at least over 6 months in TBC, probably more, I don't remember. Time will show if it will be quicker here.

@Dragon's Den: if you haven't already done it, perhaps you should save that funny dress-up-like-a-murloc-quest for this occasion? Wouldn't it be lovely to ding, running around in that suit?

@Ixobelle: welcome to our little pub, I hope you'll feel at home! I have actually sneeked into your blog a couple of times, following links from Alt Fanatic. I'd better come around to put you on my blogroll so I remember to read all of your posts, because they're really worth reading, I love your style and the fact that you're not afraid to write LONG posts.

Levelling up I kept thinking - maybe I should try an aoe frost spec to speed up a bit - but I turned up sticking to non-aoe-ing fire spec, since I was too lazy to adapt a new technique.

@2ndNin: thank you. I'm not rolling yet. Three heroic instances completed so far. But I guess I'll get up the speed eventually. It's all about finding a working group and then sticking to it, then you can make three or four after each other. That makes a lot of badges.

Anonymous said...

First of all grats larissa!

My bigest problem is combining raid gear preparations , via heroics and rep farmnig diary quest (never forget your tabard!) with keep doing quest , there are REALLY amazing quest I dont want to lose..

I have seem you are spellweaving, I f I can give you an adavice, change to ebonweave

Unknown said...

Gratz on 80!

I also decided on doing a bunch of heroics when I hit 80.

You should get a good amount of emblems after a week.

Good hunting!

Darraxus said...

I have never done anything glorious for milestone dings. I hit 60 grinding zombies in WPL, I hit 70 somewhere in Shadowmoon, and I dinged 80 killing a gorilla in Sholzar.

Brethless said...

Im only 78 and a half at this point, hoping to ding 80 by this weekend.

Not planning on anything special, but hoping to be the second mage do ding 80 in our guild (altho chances are slim since the one i am racing is on holiday - the brat!)

For me now, I am just struggling to figure what gear to get and where. Our guild is planing on 10 man stuff since we are a casual guild more than raiding guild altho that seems to be changing this time round.

So I have to rather rush for my gear to earn my dps spot in our progression group. Rather scary, since I feel like I am a rather mediocre mage, but cannot play any other class. But at least i am consistent dps wise.