Seems I can only manage a new post when I come up with a witty title. Hopefully I can work around that little foible and at least manage one new post per week.
I’ve now got some proper raiding under the belt, and the conclusion is… I’ve gone shadow mainspec. I was just struggling too much with the healing as Disco. Heals were all too weak and so so slow. Hopefully some of the trouble was gearing rather than me just being a bit poor. It certainly looks like healers gear curve is somewhat steeper in Cata than other specs.
And I’m really enjoying being dps main spec. Sure, I’ve run as shadow in some raids pre-Cata but only due to surplus healers. I’m finding it so much more relaxing not having to worry about healing. Or mana, mostly. It can still be an issue in AOE heavy fights but I’m working round that and haven’t run out yet.
We’re still limited to a 10man team but we’ve got three boss kills so far, all of which have been repeated this week already. Add to that the PvP raid boss kill, and some close goes on the twin dragons. We’re starting to make good progress.
I’ve invested a chunk of gold on the AH buying up the crafted epics that are available. This includes 18k for the latest Darkmoon trinket. Glyph making is still plenty profitable and I’ll be recouping the cost fairly quickly I expect. Which is good as flasks and the materials to make them are currently costing over 200g each. Making an evenings raiding cost 1k!
The trade skill profiteering addon I’m alpha testing is shaping up very nicely. It has streamlined the glyph business very well and I’m starting to tinker with other crafting skills for fun and profit as well now. Somewhat more limited on crafts other than inscription due to lack of recipes. Hopefully I’ll find time for alts at some point!
Crafting has been given a little shake-up in Cataclysm. Nothing as serious as the talent tree changes or the sundering of Azeroth but still some added fun. Maybe.
The first obvious change is that some recipes can give multiple skill points. My crafting addon of choice (Gnomeworks) shows this as a percent chance to gain a skillup. So some items show as 300%. Nicely this also works for green recipes which can show percentages <100%.
This means there are two tricks to play with crafting now. Firstly, consider crafting two items at 85% chance of skill-up rather than the single item at 100% that takes twice as many mats. Secondly, consider crafting the item that gives 300% skill-up just before it goes yellow (and reduces to 100% or less). These recipes tend to be more expensive so you can be better off crafting from 100 to 104 with single skill-up cheaper recipes and then 104-107 with the 300% recipe.
Another change is that a lot of crafted items are now a generic base item with random extra stats. For example, craft the base item Nightstone Choker and you’ll get one of several potential versions. There’s also a chance of getting blue items, some of which can sell well on the AH.
The final change involves high level crafting. This varies between profession but by and large you’ll be wanting vendor bought items and recipes from Twilight Highlands. This will require reaching level 84 and doing the first few quests before you’re in phase with these merchants. Some items are simple gold bought BoE reagents on limited supply (thankfully with a much boosted refresh time now). Others are recipes (or in the case of engineering cogwheels to go in the new head piece) that are bought with other crafted items. In the case of enchanting this includes the new rod recipe, which is BoP so all enchanters will need to level to 84 to be able to craft top end enchants.
Cataclysm has been out for two weeks now and I’ve spent a decent chunk of that time in game. Most of that time has been spent levelling my main. Of the rest, a lot of time has been spent at the auction house and crafting glyphs. I’ve been alpha testing a new auctioning/crafting addon which is proving to be very beneficial to my gold funds. Overall I’m up about 10k gold, which is after spending nearly that much on flying (2x 310% flyers) and the same again if not more skilling up engineering and making a start on other professions.
So what has Cataclysm brought? For max level characters there is less new content than LK. Five new zones. Several guildies are already Cataclysm loremasters. There is however about the same, if not more, crafting content. And of course raiding content. Seems like a poor deal on the expansion? That’s because the other half of this expansion is the complete revamp of class specifications (which came in the pre-patch), two new races, and the upheaval of the 1-60 areas and levelling process.
A lot of work has gone into quests. The quests are fun (though there are still plenty of kill 10 rats type) and the story is better handled than ever before. I barely read quest text and I’ve picked up on the storyline in both the 80-85 zones and my new goblin. On the levelling process there are many little UI improvements that streamline this, and the 1-60 quests storyline is much better handled. And of course there is the sundering of Azeroth giving new terrain to all the old zones.
I’ve got my healer geared up for heroics and even popped into a couple of raids with the guild, though no boss kills yet. Healing is a very new beast in Cata. It took me a while (and some more gear) to get the hang of heroics and build confidence, only to have it shattered again when we checked out the raid instances. Bosses there will need very different healing patterns to heroic bosses. Mana is going to be a serious issue.
We start raiding officially on Wednesday. I am not feeling prepared. Gearing up is going to take a while and be a bit grindy. Half of the factions that offer decent gear don’t have dailies so running level 85 instances for tabard rep is the only option there. And the heroic instances are tough, and long. I feel like I’ve spent 24+ hours doing heroics and only completed 3. One of those was chosen specifically for the guild achievement so I’ve only completed 2 randoms. Farming heroics for honor points and the epic gear is going to be a long slow grind.
I’ll do a separate post about my crafting experiences so far.
I’ve been trying to think of something to write about properly since setting this WordPress up. And been lacking inspiration. Nothing unusual there. However, this morning I was checking out the latest talent options for my priest in the upcoming WoW patch. It turns out that at level 80 I can no longer get Inspiration. I’ve not seen this mentioned on any of the many blogs I read so figured this worthy of note. As a disco priest you’ll have to be a minimum of level 81 to get that now. Luckily I wasn’t planning on putting together a tank healer build and instead plan on playing with smite.