I am now at a very weird intersection in my leveling process: I want it to slow down. And I'm not even sure that I can slow it down, either.
Well, let me clarify things a bit: the reason why I want to slow the leveling down is because I'd prefer to get flying right as I ding 70, and my preferred leveling process appears to be working against me for that.
When I arrived in Outland, Brig had 40 gold in her pocket.
That's right: 40. Not 400.
I don't have a toon that has all my gold, either. Until Brig came along, Card has the most gold of all my toons at roughly 50-100 gold depending on which day of the week it was. Naxx put a gigantic crimp on my ability to earn gold, as I spent a lot of time farming mats so I could attend the Naxx raids. And for those who would say to just farm herbs to sell on the Auction House, I was doing that until the cost of the potions and/or raw materials on the AH outstripped my ability to sell the herbs I was farming. And once the price of Firefin spiked, well.... I grabbed my fishing pole and hit the shores of Wetlands.* It was only in the final few weeks of Naxx that my gold situation began to trend upward as we wiped (and I died) less and less in Naxx itself.
One more point: I did get world (or BoE) drops that I would try to sell on the AH, but I rarely was able to pull that off. I mean, I even got the Disgusting Oozling as a drop in Western Plaguelands, and even putting it up at less than half of the price of the other sellers I couldn't get any takers. Go figure. It's only now, with the new expac out there, that I'm getting some takers on the greens and Enchanting mats I've been putting up.
Still, the leveling of 1 to 60 was an exercise in speed, not wealth generation, even though the only things I bought were food and water.
Until a Shaman gets Water Shield around L62, they are a huge water hog.
And I do mean huge.
I'd be slowly gaining ground on gold while leveling, and two things would happen: I'd ding and have to go get trained, and the price of water kept going up. I'd have a couple of stacks of water on me when I'd go out into the field, and every time I came back in to sell junk and get more water, the overall fluctuation would be such that I'd net a lot less than I thought. And once I hit the range for the L45 water.... I'd net zero.
The obvious answer was to get a friendly Mage to give me some water, but I was in such a hurry (and on at weird enough hours) that the alternate method of finding a random player, create a group, switch to Card, add Card, and have Card make and distribute water. I did that once, and afterward I thought "This is stupid. All this work for a couple of stacks of water." It may have been free, but as every other goblin in game will tell you, "Time is money, friend." And I didn't have that much time to sit around and do that on a regular basis.**
So, I did what any other slightly insane leveling Shaman would do: switch to L35 water and change my rotation to minimize spellcasting.
It may have been rough at times, but in the end it did help me become a better Shaman because of one thing: Enhancement Shamans are supposed to be masters of White Damage (aka the 'regular' non-magic damage). So I learned to be patient and let my White Damage attacks do their job and only cast when I'd get maximum impact from something. It stretched out my mana use, and it also helped me manage totems (when I used them) better.
And getting Water Shield has been a godsend. I rarely drink when out in the field, and when I group with people for quests or instances I typically get some water given to me as a courtesy.
You know, just like how it used to be.
Back to the original point of this post, getting to Outland has been a gold boon for me, but like I alluded to last week the gold demands are higher. My need for water has lessened, but repairs have gone up.
And the training costs....
Blowing 30+ gold per level on training hurts. A lot. And the way the Shaman's toolkit is designed, I can't not skip some training in favor of others.
All of this has added up to the reality that I'm sitting at L69, partway through the level, and I'm about 500 gold short of the total cost of flying (skill + mount).
So I'm doing other things rather than questing: working on my Skinning skill, which will (eventually) net me some gold on the AH, helping other players level, and running instances that are on the lower end of the scale (the first two SSC and HC instances, respectively) to help out lower level toons get leveled.
Still, I think it likely that I'll have to ding L70 to gain access to the excess gold gained by having no more XP to accumulate. It'll be a blow to my pride, but I can wait on getting to the Tempest Keep instances.
One final note....
I have decided to honor my commitment to the Raid Lead team through Phase 1, but I will re-evaluate things after Phase 2 is announced. While I'd like to think things will improve, I believe it highly likely I'll want to go back to where I was and leave the guild. To do that will require me to give up my Raid Lead position, and I'm fine with that. I will have given things a fair shot, and if it's not working out for me it's not working out.
And I do have options, so it's not like I'm giving up on WoW Classic.
*Other people liked Stranglethorn Vale, but I preferred Wetlands due to the lack of competition.
**Before you ask, no, I didn't ask any of the other Mages in guild. They were all busy running instances and leveling since the Dark Portal had opened. Some of them had friends from their old days join them in guild, and they've been running with them as much as they can. So why bother them?