Lookie! I’m a quest giver, on my new Belf paladin. I’ve never gotten a Paladin past level 21 before until now. And I hadn’t leveled a Forsaken or Blood Elf post Cataclysm, so I hadn’t done all the quests out that way either. Tho this one I’d done on my Forsaken shadow priest. Johnny Awesome never fails to crack me up!
Oddly enough, this is not the only baby alt I’m working on at the moment. I’ve rolled a Panda hunter on a new to me server, to check out a possible place to play some of my neglected Alliance characters. Although my heart belongs primarily with my Forsaken ladies, I do enjoy some gnome shenanigans from time-to-time. Which means I need to find a new place for that, given how many of my D’tan peeps have faded away over the past two years.
I’ve levelled so many baby alts over the years, and have 6 or 7 90s spread across 5 servers. I love that now, in addition to questing and LFG, I can pet battle my heart out to get that much needed XP, if I’m not feeling a particular questing zone. Mostly, that restlessness with questing sets in when I get to the Cataclysm content. I’ve pushed about a dozen characters through it in total, and really and truly over it. (see all those level 85s gathering dust after that push).
Honestly tho, I love all the newbie little quests. And revisiting my favorite quest areas. So much has changed post Cataclysm, but some of my favorite places and NPCs are still there to make me smile.
In other amazing alt news, I finally leveled up my Forsaken mage to 90! That’s right, my wee lass who sat out the Cataclysm zoomed up from 80 to 90, primarily through doing my pet battling bidding in the greater Mount Hyjal area. I was pleasantly surprised how quickly she was able to gear up and be ready for SoO LFR, thanks to the island loot pinata. Good stuff.
No, I don’t just mean the gnomes. Tho clearly, I have been charmed by the gnomes.
I’m talking about the small details that make some of the Cataclysm lowbie quests give you a grin. Like this Forsaken firefighting backpack apparatus. It’s so functional and yet so stylish! I didn’t want to turn in my quest and give it up, but I also wanted to progress through the Ironforge airport story, so in the end I did surrender it. Alas, I do not hitnk this one will be ready for Hallow’s End and trying to get a similar Forsaken gas tank of her very own. But perhaps she’ll go for one of the blue water tanks that @Rades wrote about obtaining.
For the record, this little gnome is a shadow priest. I plan to level her through some of the Cataclysm content I haven’t run an alt through yet, aling with a heavy side of LFD. What’s truly fun though is looking at every piece of gear she gets as a drop and thinking “Transmog y/n/murloc?” Good times.
What is a little thing that’s recently charmed YOU in Azeroth?
Philosophically, I am neither for nor against BOA gear for your alts. I have a few caster pieces, scattered across the three servers upon which I actively play. At best, on one server, I have head, shoulders, chest and cloak. On another I have weapon, chest and shoulders. Amassing a collection of alt BOAs has just not been a priority for me. I’ve put my badges/points to other uses over the years. But it feels like I’m in the minority on that, at least amongst the leveling dungeon crowd.
Frequently, I’ve been in dungeons with people sporting a full set of BOA gear, down to two trinkets. That’s fine by me. Should mean more gear for my alts who are relying on dungeon drops to improve as they go. You see, I’m a firm believer in having my alts wear what they can make or they earn from quests and dungeons. I just don’t spend gobs of cash on my alts’ leveling gear.
In years past, this approach has gone unnoticed/unremarked. But in the past month, I’ve been on the receiving end of meter spamming, vulgar comments, and being called a bad for my characters in leveling dungeons not being tricked out. Yes, I’m serious: I’ve been called a Bad for not having optimized my gear in leveling dungeons.
The most annoying was in the level 80-85 grind. Therein were positively the worst LFD people I’ve encountered thus far. Until that group I couldn’t fathom why people would drop group mid pull. Which is exactly what I did after I tired of the vulgar comments coming from the three wretched guildies who apparently trolled LFD to show everyone else how leet they were in their full sets of BOA gear and how fail everyone else is if they don’t have it.
It’s interesting to me, as someone who has spent most of her WoW time historically focused on raiding to encounter ruthless elitism amongst people leveling alts. Even when I was one of only three druids on my server, at the time, who had a full set of T2 gear, I was never compelled to go around and talk smack to other people. I was able to bask in my accomplishments and feel good about my character without putting down other people.
What is it about the current state of affairs that would compel people to become obsessed with maximizing their alts for leveling, and more importantly, to look down upon and bully others who are leveling without having that same focus? What happened to the game being whatever it is that you want to make of it? When did we get overrun by the tyranny of the BOAs?
I’ve been leveling my goblin shaman in large part through LFD groups. I’ve been enjoying the under 10 minute queues, and seeing the old instances in new level ranges. But what I haven’t been enjoying as much is the non-stop arguing about who gets the spirit gear.
While in Dire Maul, I rolled need on, and won, mail spirit gloves. Our healing paladin, who, in that same moment, won the shield off the King, immediately started berating me. The conversation went roughly like this:
PALADIN: ” Why did you roll need on those gloves, shaman???”
PALADIN: “Don’t you know anything? You use AGI not spirit, dumbass.”
ME: “Actually, as an elemental shaman, with a resto offspec, I can use spirit in either spec. I have the talent that converts spirit into hit.”
PALADIN: “Obviously you don’t raid.”
ME: “Yes, I actually, I do. Your point?”
PALADIN: “If you raid then you should know main spec before off spec.”
ME: “As already noted I’m elemental and have the talent that uses spirit for hit. And you not only got plenty of other loot this run, you can wear plate so you didn’t have more right to win those gloves than I did.”
ME: “Next time, before you start berating a stranger in an instance over loot, be more informed about your topic.”
That’s right. The paladin and I both rolled on mail spirit gloves, in a run wherein they had won a ton of loot, and he threw a hissy fit about my winning them with a need roll. I am not making this up.
Back in October, when I first wrote about the changing face of spirit, I expected we would have some short term hiccups. I did not anticipate, however, that my hybrids (and I only really do instances with my SP/boomkin/ele shaman) would be the target of non-stop harangues from healers who felt that every item that dropped with spirit on it was their priority over mine.
Yes, I understand that healers really really need spirit. But hybrids also can use it. And especially when you are talking about the mail and leather gear, there isn’t a plethora of non spirit gear awaiting my picking it up. And it’s ridiculous to expect me, in PUG 5-mans no less, to pass on any item with spirit on it in case a healer wants it. That’d be a great way to be wearing level 20 quest gear up to 60.
Warlocks and Mages: Still Don’t Need Spirit
Probably one of the more vexing related issues that crops up just as often is warlocks and mages rolling on cloth spirit gear, or my worst case so far: melee DPS rolling on and winning a spirit trinket. I know that Blizzard spent an entire expansion trying to convince locks and mages that they should have a teeny bit of spirit in their gear, but those days are past.
Yes, as someone pointed out to me in their argument as to why I was wrong that they don’t use spirit at all, your rate of out of combat mana regen is dependent upon spirit. That would technically be considered “using spirit” but having a stat on your gear that you mostly reforge away because it only affects your out of combat mana regen does not really fit in with my definition of “using it” the same way that casters who convert it into hit (which you need whenever you are fighting something up to your hit cap.)
At this point, I’m going to have to make a macro to spam before the first boss drops his phat loots, that says something along the lines of: “Since it always comes up, please be advised that boomkin/elemental shaman/shadow priests actually use spirit as hit; I have it talented. It’s not just for healers. Cheers.” Not that it will do any good, but it will save my wery fingers from typing these worn out arguments at least…
Two months ago, I left the guild I’d raided in through most of WotLK and been an officer in for over a year, and joined a friend’s raiding guild. Alas, our friend’s guild had a bad case of Main Tank Syndrome plus a RL revolving door and start time. Although offered the opportunity to run the B team raid and thus have complete control over the RL and start time, in a guild that is now 11/12, my SO and I both put raiding on the back burner for the first time in over 5 years (5.5 years for the SO.)
Truth be told, my RL schedule has been too hectic for the past month to take on progression raiding prep, let alone leading a raiding team. But this leaves me at loose ends. Yes, I have a whole army of neglected alts who would love some attention. But my World of Warcraft — from the time my druid hit 58 and stepped into MC to heal our META guild’s raid– has revolved around raiding. Not always cutting edge, top 5 on the server raiding (though there has been that too), but I’ve always been a part of a regularly scheduled raid team since that first night of raiding.
It feels weird to not need to make any flasks.
It feels weird not to be watching tank spot videos and pestering people to read Jaded Alt’s strats.
It feels weird to be poking around on alts in the evening instead of slaying Internet dragons with friends.
I don’t think this hiatus from raiding will be permanent, but I do think it’ll be longer than a vacation break. It’s absolutely exhausting to think about trying to find a guild that raids horde-side, 6 PT start or a bit later, with fun and friendly and interesting guildies. I am positive it can be done, but I don’t feel like I have the energy or the time to do it right now. And my schedule with the classes I’m taking means I don’t have a more open schedule for raiding at the moment. But I know that once 4.2 hits the live servers, the urge to raid will likely tip the balance back to “must raid!” from the “not enough time to find the right fit in a guild.”
One thing I know for certain is raiding progression is not enough reason to stick it out in a guild where you don’t connect with the other people, or worse yet, they don’t even connect with anyone else. I’ve already spent too much time in guilds where folks were only all about the raid and were PUGging 5-mans alone in a sea of 25+ guildies online, in-between bouts of snarking at each other in the guild forums. I want more than that. And I’m positive I’ll eventually find it.
Due to a real life work and continuing education schedule that hasn’t left me with much spare time, I haven’t raided in a few weeks. Instead, I’ve spent an unusual (for me) amount of time playing my alts. And creating new alts. I blame @psynister’s influence!
This past weekend, I indulged in some profession power leveling on my two goblins, speeding them through inscription (maxing out what’s possible for level 35) and tailoring/enchanting (making good headway for a level 11.) But that’s not even the half of it:
I moved my Tauren druid, who hadn’t been played since the expansion hit, to the server whre I’ve been rolling my goblins to play with some great tweeps.
And proceeded to earn her a level, bringing her up to level 81.
And despite all that, I still had time to push my Alliance warlock to 84
AND get all my toons the Legacy of Arlokk staff
AND do a wee bit of Children’s Week on my primary characters.
All of the above in a few short hours this weekend, in-between bouts of homework! So while all around me I am hearing about boredom and burn out, I’m back to having a nice solid “to do” list, across a half dozen characters. And that’s just the way I like it.
Next up, I’ll need to decide if I want to leave any of my hordelings on Bronzebeard at all. As of now, I’m leaning towards not leaving them there. In the 2 1/2 years I’ve been there, the server environment has changed as far as not having as many PUGs going for raid content, and not a very wide selection of raiding guilds. Plus many of the folks I really enjoyed playing with there have either left the server, or stopped playing. Our friend’s guild is 11/12, which makes it great on the casual raiding front, but it’s really not exactly what I’m looking for from a social standpoint, truth be told. Given all this, I’d prefer to have my beloved shadow priest on a server where she had a number of raiding options, so that she’ll never again be stuck in a less than inspiring guild situation all for the sake of a raid slot.
But that’s all stuff to figure out later. Right now, the class and homework schedule, plus work busyness means not thinking about raiding at all short term. For the first time in 5 years. And yes, it feels pretty strange to not have any raiding progression targets on my “to do” list. It will remain to be seen how well not raiding works out. And where I end up.
We’re at a point in this tier of content wherein serious raiding guilds are well on their way into defeating the heroic modes, but many more casual raiding guilds are finding themselves stuck at 9/12 or 10/12 on regular mode. So you know what that means — folks are starting to want to bring their alts. Worse yet, the people who want to bring their alts are typically the folks who’ve geared themselves out thanks to having attended all or most of the runs (yes, I’m looking at you MT/Raid Leader/Core Raid team members.)
A guild leader’s first impulse is probably to say “OK…” when their raid leader comes to them and says “I don’t want to bring my geared out toon to raids any more; I really want to play Character X.” But there are a number of reasons you should think twice before sealing that deal:
Often this is not the first– or the last– time this player has pulled the old switcheroo. Are you prepared for them gearing up this character then cycling in their next alt?
You’ve just set a precedent. Now that you’ve let them swap out to their alt, why can’t player X do the same?
So, player Z who has stayed on their main and lost a lot of loot to the swapping player, and is now losing more gear to their alt is starting to hate them.
A raid team wants to feel like a team, not a loot delivery system for the raid leader. It can be hard to respect a leader who is continually fine tuning a situation to their advantage– raid synergy be damned.
Typically, no matter how much we love our alts, they will not perform nearly as well, or have the same utility as our mains on whom we’ve spent months raiding.
In my raiding history, once the alts started coming in, progression ground to a stand-still. Tempers flared. And frequently, good players left my raid teams.In many of the cases, this behavior was tolerated because it was done by the raid leader– and everyone was afraid of losing the raid leader to the extent that no one spoke up about it. But there was a lot of discussion going on in the background amongst the raiders it affected. And none of it sunshine and kittens related.
To be clear, I’m not saying a raid leader shouldn’t grab someone’s healer alt if a raid won’t go without that happening. But allowing players, at their request, to swap characters at this stage in the game, after gearing themselves up? That has a real possibility of derailing your progression momentum.
So, What Can You Do to Avoid a Blowout?
If this issue comes up in your guild, you can’t just ignore it. It won’t go away. But there are a few ways you can diffuse the situation.
Start up an alt raid.
You probably have enough experienced raiders with moderately geared up alts who want to raid on them. Put them all together, and let them start re-clearing the raids. Bonus points for this approach making folks work for it, versus coasting off mains’ hard work.
Put it to a vote.
If someone is truly adamant about wanting to make a switch, put up an anonymous vote on your forums and let the raid team decide. And do the same for if EP/DKP is allowed to roll over or if there will be a penalty spend or freeze for a specific timeframe to discourage the loot and run syndrome.
Yes, I have been slapped around by a really nasty flu bug for the past few days. Thus radio silence here and over on twitter.
Right before this plague came down upon me, I *finally* rolled a Goblin lady, seen here joyfully making her way into beautiful Silverpine Forest.
I wasn’t sure how I’d like to Goblin starting area, having heard in turns that it was the best thing since sliced bread and that it was way too cartoony to suspend disbelief. In the end, I think both were true, but I had a great time out there, cruising around in my hot rod with Riz.
Finally having a horde lowbie also means I am finally starting on all the Silverpine Forest quests I’d wanted to see. Unfortunately, the chain got spoiled for me some time ago, but it will still be cool to see it all for myself.
The one thing I *had* seen before was the unnecessary exchange between Garrosh and Sylvanas. I still don’t think the B-word was necessary– or, frankly, in keeping with the overall tone of the game. This isn’t Grand Theft Auto — it’s world of Warcraft. And last time I checked, characters and NPCs didn’t go around using swear words, or calling each other derogatory terms.
*steps down off soap box*
Anyhoo, I’m totally looking forward to leveling this lady and getting to see new content. I could have done the same on one of max level toons, but it’s truly not the same as seeing things through the fresh eyes of a lowbie character starting fresh without heirlooms or cash on a new server.