Sunday, December 12, 2010

Time for a Convoy

I think it's time for an experiment (of sorts).

Quintalan is basically sitting around Dal, cooling his jets, while I've been leveling Tomakan and Neve.  I could send him straight into the Cataclysm zones, but I've been reluctant to do so.  It has nothing to do with being put off by the Great Cataclysm Race, but a realization that if I push ahead with Q I'd shelve these other two for a long while.

There's also a bit of a daredevil mentality at work here.  Just how hard is it to hop on an 18-wheeler and drive a toon straight up through L85 without stopping to farm heroics?

I've read online a lot of "you can go straight to L85 without stopping, but it will be a bit harder," but exactly how hard is "harder" the posters kind of left blank.  When you ding L80, you typically have a bunch of iL187 and iL200 gear, with a mixture of lower level gear thrown in.  This is especially true if you've been leveling through instances like I have, and you don't get those questing gear drops to round out your equipment.  For example, I only recently replaced Tom's cloak; he'd been using something he picked up circa the last two Scarlet Monastery instances all the way through L66 simply because he didn't get a DPS type cloak to drop that entire time.  (Well, one that he won in a roll, anyway.)

What this means is that it's entirely possible Neve or Tom could ding 80 and still have a residual piece of BC gear on them.  And those are the toons I'll be taking straight into the Cataclysm zones.

Okay, I'll eventually get around to getting Q to L85, but right now I've got a good thing going:  leveling Tom in the early morning, and Neve in the lunchtime (or late afternoon).  I figure to ride this convoy straight to L85 and see what happens.  I'll make a point of taking a gear snapshot of each toon once they ding 80 and see how things change over the Cat leveling experience.


  1. This is something I have been thinking about as well. My first leveling experience has been with a char with fairly good gear, and it was no walk in the park (she had a lousy leveling spec though). But what about my characters that don't have epics at level 80? Not even one? On which the BoA gear is still the best thing on them? I thing leveling those will be extremely difficult, and don't even think about doing instances... But we'll see.

  2. @Zinn-- The old Dalaran BoA gear will stop giving you XP after L80, so you'd either have to replace them with new BoA gear or you'd have to replace them entirely. Given that the cost of the new BoA gear wouldn't be worth it, I'm going to simply replace the gear instead.

    When Q hit L80, I had a mix of greens and blues, but questing in the zones wasn't hard at all. I only started running instances to get the T9 Liadrin gear when I realized I needed a power boost to solo the 3-man and 5-man quests in Icecrown. From what I've read about Cataclysm, this simply isn't going to be possible.

  3. That is part of the new expac anxiety I have.... so many toons to continue developing, so little time! But it's nice to just do what's fun, which sounds like your plan.

    As for the gear issue, I don't have any first hand knowledge of this, but I wouldn't think the lack of Northrend dungeon gear would be that big of an issue. Most of my 80s got there without doing a single dungeon, and without buying gear off the AH. That might have meant I was under-performing while questing, but I never had much trouble and enjoyed the whole ride. I did have to run some non-heroics at 80 in order to even qualify for heroics (based on my average item level), but it wasn't bad.

    And as far as the switch to Cata, I haven't found the questing to be that challenging. Granted I have decent 10 man ICC raid gear, but I decided to stay disc while leveling. I was only pulling maybe 2K dps, but haven't run into trouble questing (healing higher level dungeons is another story!). Plus, if you still had some BC gear, you would get questing upgrades pretty quick!

  4. @NaturalGamerGirl-- Good to see you back!

    Anyway, I discovered that going from Vanilla -> BC and BC -> Wrath was a decent adjustment, but nothing earth shattering. On Neve, I got very lucky on my first Utgarde Keep run and not only had all of the Mage friendly gear drop, but I actually won everything. (Where was this luck in Mana Tombs?)

    I'm still looking at the first Cata zone mob health of 30k and thinking that the leap is going to be a struggle for both a Ret Pally and a Mage (of any stripe). The adjustment really does look more and more like the BC and Wrath jumps combined. Imagine replacing an iL160 necklace with iL277, and that's what a newbie L80 is probably looking at for some of the gear.

  5. Yeah, good point. On a selfish note, I would love to hear how that transition actually turns out for you! I do have some alts I plan on leveling in Cata soon that have no dungeon gear at all.... now I am wondering if I will need to spend some time gearing them up first!

    I could always figure it out the easy way.... go to Hyjal and see how badly my face gets punched in.