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.