How I am spending my summer vacation

I decided to skip my normal Tuesday LFR torture yesterday, in light of my horrible experience last week, and instead logged on to play my new alt.

As I told you, I rolled a Brewmaster panda over this last weekend. I expected my interest in him to wane quickly — I have never successfully leveled any melee spec much less a tank. But I have to admit I am having a lot of fun so far. Of course, he is just level 21 and I usually get to about 50 or 60 before I give up on melee types, so I may yet delete him, but for now it is holding my interest.

He seems very OP — much like leveling a hunter, he just blasts through almost everything. One Keg Smash seems to kill nearly every mob, maybe throwing in a Blackout Kick for the few that don’t die immediately.  I have not leveled any new alts in a while, so maybe all classes can do this now, I don’t know. Some people might get bored with being so powerful at low levels, but I do not. I like it. I enjoy leveling fairly fast, and dying a lot does not enhance the experience for me. It is just annoying. Of course, leveling a monk is fast anyway, what with heirlooms and the extra XP from the daily.

As an aside, WOOHOO for that chauffeured chopper! What a cool mount for lowbies! Interestingly, though, I couldn’t use mine on this alt until about level 11 or 12 when I selected a faction. When I tried to use it earlier, I got an error informing me I was not the correct faction to use that item. Which is strange, because a few months ago I briefly rolled a baby hordie, and that alt could use the thing immediately. It is supposed to be account-wide, but apparently “account-wide” means either horde or alliance, nothing in between.

As soon as I hit level 20 I queued for a couple dungeons — Ragefire Chasm and Deadmines. I was scared silly and as a consequence probably way over-prepared. I studied the maps for each one and all the bosses, looking to see if there was any special thing for the tank to look out for. I found Atlas Maps useful and the Dungeon Journal pretty worthless. In the end, though, it didn’t matter. I didn’t have to know the dungeon layouts because both times there was an ants-in-the-pants DPS who just went charging through in front of everyone, pulling whatever was in the path. I probably should have been annoyed, but the truth is I was kind of relieved. I usually arrived a second or two after mobs had been pulled, and I didn’t have a problem getting aggro fairly quickly — Keg Smash is that awesome, combined with my taunt. A quick look at my logs afterwards showed that I put out a ton of damage, sometimes more than all the DPS combined, which I suppose at this low level for a Brewmaster is common. Still, it gave me a tiny bit of early confidence.

Something I never thought about before is how different it must be tanking for a 5-man instance than it is for a raid. And though I have not yet ventured into a raid as a tank, I can only surmise it is much more complex and stressful, not only because the bosses are harder, but also because of the coordination necessary with the other tank. (Interestingly, I find healing a 5-man to be far more difficult than healing in a raid, I guess because there is no one to cover your mistakes.)

At any rate, I enjoyed myself with my baby tank yesterday. It felt like playing hooky from school on a beautiful day. In fact, I am thinking about taking a week or two total break from logging in to my mains or my leveled alts. A break from T2, from garrisons, from hunter pendulum swings, from ridiculous JC profession requirements, from shipyards and all the other frustration that is WoD. Just pretend it doesn’t exist, go back to the simple fun of leveling and learning a new character. It will be like going to summer camp or spending a week at the beach. I think I need that.

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.

6 Responses to How I am spending my summer vacation

  1. Casually Odd says:

    I have a baby brewmaster that I’m looking forward to playing too and yes, they seem fun. I’ve heard the same thing about them being quite OP early on. Might as well enjoy the fun!

    I think you are right about tanking dungeons versus raids. Dungeons, in my uneducated opinion, are generally better tuned then raids. They know it will have 1 tank, 1 heal, 3 dps and can manage the mechanics for that. Damage in a dungeon also tends to be less, of course, so minor tank mistakes won’t typically kill a party member, which isn’t usually the case in raids. Interesting point on healing though.

    From the sounds of it, the two week break sounds like it would be good for you. Since the “end game” content isn’t keeping you happy, rediscovering the early good might help. Plus, I’m sure it will give you good stuff to write about, which is good for us.

    • Fiannor says:

      I think I would be more engaged in end game content if my so-called raiding guild had not stopped raiding since mid-March. If I had a reason to gear up my main, I would be more interested in pursing more of the T2 content and less annoyed with the stupid shipyard requirement for the ring — which by the way I am making almost no progress on, since every time I get an area unlocked to be able to do some of the reward missions, it gets immediately blockaded again before I can do more than one. I only have 9 of the required 25 rewards missions done, as I usually get maybe one every couple of days. To say nothing of getting to the point of getting the other naval achievement for the ring. Just stupid and frustrating.

      Fairly soon I will have to move to another guild if I want to continue raiding, it is becoming apparent to me. I have not set foot in normal HFC so far, but I suppose luckily it will be around for a looooooonnnnngg time. Meanwhile, as you say, a break is a good idea.

  2. Grumsta says:

    When I returned from my break from WoD after 6.1 came out, I did exactly what you’re suggesting at the end of your post: I stopped playing in Draenor entirely (except to keep daily CD crafting ticking over).

    I ported with my mage and did the Loremaster achievement, or fishing quests, or levelled up my Ele Shaman. Anything that I felt like I wanted to do. Not having the pressure to gear up and prepare for the HM raids I hated so much was wonderful.

    Later I levelled my Horde DK from 90 to 100 and admired the Frostfire Ridge quests and storyline. They are quite superb.

    If I hadn’t played the game for fun again there’s no way I’d still be playing now, let alone raiding in BRF and HFC and loving it again.

    • Fiannor says:

      I will probably log in briefly on my leveled characters to knock out some shipyard missions and a couple of follower missions as well. But I have literally thousands of profession cooldown mats on all my professions, so no real need for those any more, nor for the other mats like ore and herbs to fuel them. As soon as flying goes live I will do some Felblight farming with my gatherers, although since my drop rate is still hanging at about 2-3%, maybe my best bet is to plan on the AH price dropping when everyone else has the same farming idea. Still, even though it is a little weird, I enjoy flying about doing mindless farming, listening to music, maybe indulging in some excellent wine while I do it.

      Unless I quit the game entirely I will eventually go back to raiding, just a matter of finding the right time and guild fit. But now is not it.

      It’s encouraging to hear that people have taken breaks and come back better for it.

      • Grumsta says:

        I’ve stopped farming for Felblights: the trade chat price has dropped to 180-200g, and yesterday I got 58 Felblight from killing Kazzak with my five lvl 100s.

        Okay I was lucky, but even if I got half that number it would still take me several hours to farm the equivalent through gathering and fishing: those only took me 45 minutes to get.

      • Fiannor says:

        On my server the AH prices for felblight are still hovering around 450g each, and even if you can find offers in Trade Chat I have never seen less than 400g. Still too expensive to be buying them up in bunches of 90, imo.

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