Gathering thoughts

Last night I decided to ditch tailoring on my mage and replace it with herbalism. I have not bothered to level her to 700 tailoring in WoD, as my warlock is also a tailor. True, she did have some low level patterns the lock doesn’t have, but nothing that I can’t buy on the AH or get a guildie to make if I need one for some transmog. Besides, I can pick up most of them later on my lock, which might be kind of a fun project.

I mainly use the mage for inscription, so switching to herbalism as the other profession makes more sense anyway. My other herbalist is my druid, but I am still struggling with her. She is level 91, just recently arrived on Draenor, and a boomkin. Boomkins have been kind a red headed stepchild for Blizz the last couple of expansions, they just can’t seem to figure out the right class balance for them. I was finally getting the hang of the whole moon/sun power thing in Mists, then Blizz radically changed it in WoD, and I am very far from comfortable with it. My hat is off to any of you who play a boomkin well.

To be honest, I am thinking of deleting the druid. (Please don’t say anything to her, though!) She was my second character after my hunter, so she has been around for a long time. I have kept her mainly out of sentimental reasons, but also because I was drawn to the possibilities of four specs in one alt. But it turns out that I really stink at druid healing, and after many many tries I have decided that I don’t like melee dps. Which leaves boomkin and tank. I am interested in learning to tank, but honestly I don’t know how to start. With zero tank experience, it seems impossible to just jump in at level 90+. I could never do that to any group I would be in. I should probably roll a new druid and start tanking every low level instance I can get into, just to learn a bit about the role. Then I would have enough of a foundation to ask for pointers from some of our awesome raid team tanks. Something to think about, I guess, as I continue to look for new fun in what has become an annoying current game …

Of course, the other reason to have a druid as a gatherer was that she had a terrific advantage farming herbs. Some of the most relaxing time I ever spent in this game was chilling out in guild chat while I flew my herb routes in Uldum. I loved that zone, I loved the sere majesty of the sand juxtaposed with oases and ruins. I loved being a bird, swooping and soaring alternately over the windswept sand and the wild anarchy of the river deltas. I would gather herbs for a couple of hours, enjoy the company of my guild mates, then make very decent gold selling herbs and essences in the auction house.

But those days are gone now — WoD has not been kind to guilds, and swooping and soaring have been declared “non-immersive” by Bliss’s arrogant elitist devs. I thought I was having fun back then, but as Watcher has patiently explained time after time, I really wasn’t. Silly me.

Sorry, I digress. So for all these reasons I re-rolled herbalism as my second profession on my mage. This meant that I was starting at level one. With the gathering catch-up mechanism, I could have jumped right in gathering in Draenor, but I chose not to. Herbs are not that plentiful, it would take A LOT of them to level up, and of course it is super annoying to gather them in Draenor. So I progressed from zone to zone to gather level-appropriate herbs. It went fast, and after spending a few hours at it I was close to 600 when I logged off for the night.

I had a good time doing it. It was kind of a nostalgia trip, really. I started out in Elwynn Forest, couldn’t remember the last time I spent any time there! While leveling I visited other forgotten zones like Western Plaguelands, Swamp of Sorrows, Hillsbrad Foothills, Thousand Needles, the old Terrokar Forest, zones in Northrend, Hyjal, Deepholm, and Pandaria. It was great! Before logging off I stopped in to spend the night in my cozy little farmhouse on Sunsong Ranch, with the ever-bubbling stewpot and the comfy bed.

I flew everywhere, it was glorious! At first I used my Sky Golem, but decided — in spite of the advantage it confers — that I get slightly nauseous with its herky-jerky loop-de-loop flying gait. So I used my trusty Headless Horseman mount, still my favorite after all this time. It’s small enough to not obscure the herb you are gathering, and it is graceful whether flying or on the ground. And it’s very cool looking. What else could I ask for?

Unfortunately, I am at the point where I will be forced to complete leveling now in Draenor. I am not looking forward to it.

But I had a terrific time last night. And no matter what Ion Hazzikostas says, it sure seemed like fun to me.

About Fiannor
I have a day job but escape by playing WoW. I love playing a hunter, and my Lake Wobegonian goal is to become "above average" at it.

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