Last night at 11:52 PM EST, sometime around when Alexstrasza and Deathwing were pummeling each other to death, Anshul dinged 85. I am the 9th member of our raid team to do so, coming in just behind Ratshag and just ahead of Eldmann, who was the only person to start leveling during the Cataclysm at a lower level than me.
Staying ahead of Eld is something of an accomplishment; the man levels like a fiend. I wonder if he’s available to level my alts for me…
I can’t deny, it was fun. I really enjoyed questing in Cataclysm. Starting Anshul just prior to the Cataclysm means I really got to see all five major types of quest style - “old old world” quests, “new old world” quests, Outland, Northrend, and then the new Cataclysm zones. I can definitely say I like the new style of quests better - 2-3 quests at a time, generally all in the same area, with an obvious trail of breadcrumbs to your next questing site. You’re never stuck feeling like you’re never going to get out of the area - unless you choose to purposely stick around for some reason, like I did night before last, choosing to purposely complete Dragonmaw Tour of Duty instead of moving on to doing the next quest area.
With that now behind me, here’s a few lessons I learned.
Lessons garnered on the path to the cap
- Vashj’ir: Not Even Once. I admit I was initially drawn to Vashj’ir for a few reasons. Seahorses. Smaller crowds. The Earthen Ring. Then, it all turned out to be a lie. Well, except for the seahorse, anyway.
- Melee in three dimensions? It sucks. It really sucks. And considering that jumping to an 81 zone at 80 means all the wildlife is aggroing me again - something I honestly wasn’t used to - it sucked more.
2. Input lag. For no reason, in Vashj'ir, I have a constant 2-3 second input lag at all times. It happens nowhere other than there, and it's lessened when I'm inside a cave or inside an Ancient, so I can only conclude my computer was choking rendering the water that I was actually swimming through, which baffles me, as it has no issues any other time. 3. The Earthen Ring rep is a lie. I got more from Deepholm, thanks.
When I finally get around to leveling more alts through this range, I think I’ll stick to Hyjal.
Don’t Get Attached. The gear, it’s everywhere, and it’s plentiful. I wasn’t quite running into the issues other people were describing (replacing a blue from the end of a questline almost immediately with a green at the start of the next quest or zone), but I certainly cycled through quite a lot. There were also clearly a lot of efforts to get people to try out mastery - it seemed to be on everything, which is a shame in my case, given how much mastery sucks for ret paladins right now.
Blizzard needs a copyeditor. I’ll preface this by saying that yes, this expansion honestly contains some of Blizzard’s best writing. I laughed out loud at some of the puns, I enjoyed the voiced dialogue, I even liked the metric f*ckton of cutscenes in Uldum. The eel quest from Vashj’ir, frankly, was hilarious. However, I’ll also add that this was some of Blizzard’s worst writing in terms of grammar, spelling, and even simple things like spelling an NPC’s name right in a quest description.
Hey Blizz: are you guys hiring?
A couple screenshots
‘Cause that’s just the kind of bull I am.