Leveling From 80

Posted by on Dec 15, 2010 in Commentary |

I didn’t participate in the beta when it was available so when I upgraded to Cataclysm I didn’t know what to expect. Thankfully, the amount of hand-holding that Blizz has implemented is so rampant you’d have to be blind to miss it.

I’m leveling as Assassination. The experience might be different for Combat or Subtlety but till I respec I won’t know what it’s like. As a dual-specced rogue Sin’s second spec is non-existent. EJ says that Assassination is the clear winner in raiding DPS and I’ve also read that Combat is “missing” damage, whatever that means, which are the reasons why I haven’t set it as my second spec. If this was WotLK, I’d be Combat in a heartbeat because of the cooldowns, AOE attacks and simpler rotation—okay, mostly because of the simpler rotation. Cata re-introduces Rupture in the Assassination cycle and also brings in Backstab, but the details on that are for a different post.

I chose to level in Vashj’ir instead of Mount Hyjal. I had intended to go the latter because I wanted to immerse myself in the lore surrounding the place but when I realized I made the wrong choice I just decided to go with it. I can always visit Hyjal later.

A guildmate of mine was concerned that leveling in Vashj’ir would be slower because it’s underwater. There’s some truth to that but only initially. After a couple of quests you’ll get the ability to breathe underwater, run faster on the sea floor and get a mount suited for the environment. In short, movement speed reduction quickly became a non-issue. It just takes a little getting used to.

Vashj’ir is amazing. I had always thought that Blizz had pushed the boundaries of what we could see with the game but I was proven wrong. The environments are fun to explore; seeing the Naga architecture gave me a glimpse that they actually were a civilization once and not just hostile humanoid sea serpents that I farmed for scales and fish oil. On a related note, I found both Deepholm and Vashj’ir to be really immersive, well-designed environments. Uldum’s okay. I like the Egyptian theme and all but it’s still mostly a desert.

Going from 80-82 was more or less a blur. I just leveled with no sense of urgency. I even rolled a Worgren in the middle of it all. 82-83 was done in one day. I was determined to do so because I felt the need to get to 85 as soon as possible. 83-84 was also done in a single session of play. Sin’s currently 80% into 84. She’ll be 85 tomorrow.

When I hit that level, there are a couple of things in my bucket list that I don’t know which to prioritize yet. Leveling her professions (Engineering/Jewelcrafting) will involve getting my death knight Raz to play the miner again. I’m also thinking about working on her Archeology but so far reading about it doesn’t sound like it’s a priority. Work on reforging maybe? I don’t really know yet. I’m just going to focus on getting the final 20% done then work from there.