Something deeply unprecedented has happened. Something, in fact, that I've never experienced in all my time in World of Warcraft. This morning, fighting to take the beaches in the Twilight Highlands, Ularia (introduced waaay back then) hit 85:
Ularia dings 85
I have two characters at the level cap. This is a new experience for me…
I might have a choice of characters to run instances with…
To my mind, there are only a handful of undisputed successes in Cataclysm. One of them is the new levelling experience. I've always been a quester/leveller by nature, enjoying that more than the endgame. Cataclysm has only exaggerated that. In fact, since Leafy hit 85, I've found it pretty hard to deveote much time to her and the various chores (and I mean chores) of the endgame.
The main beneficiary of this has been Halesworthy, my worgen druid. He's feral-specced, so feels completely different to Leafy to play. I charged through the worgen starting area, which is just wonderful, and found myself sucked ever onwards by the narratives of each zone. The "go to a zone, do stuff, move on" feel of vanilla has been replaced by driving (and often phased) plotlines in each major zone. It's fun, dammit, and adds another element of addiction to an already pretty compelling game.
I've started a little video series capturing some of the fun moments of the levelling experience. This probably covers Halesworthy up to his late 20s:
Halesworthy has mainly been following Leafy's footsteps through Kalimdor, as I wanted to see how much that experience changed. I can't wait to get started on another character and take them through the Eastern Kingdoms.
And as for Ularia, my space goat pally, who was labouring through Ashenvale waaaay back in May 2008, over three years ago?
Well, one ding…
…leads to another…
Yes, I finally have two toons in the same expansion for the first time since… well… um… ever, actually.
So, yes, Cataclysm levelling rocks. Pity not a huge amount else does.
The thing is – I'd never bothered learning any Sword skill on her. Cue 20 minutes of hitting somewhat easy mobs until I can actually use the sword with something like effectiveness. And I really don't see what that time added to anything.
Sure, it's a time sink, but a dull and annoying one, and one that limits the potential diversity of weapon use. It was a trivial, annoying mechanic, and I'm please the Cataclysm is sweeping it away.
This is an almost unbearably exciting screenshot for me. This is Ularia, my space goat pallie, hitting 39, as she did about 20 minutes ago.
This weekend, she will be the first of my alts to reach 40 (bar the cheating Death Knight Boltcracker). My second toon to hit Epic Mount speed. These are exciting pre-expansion time for me.
You see, traditionally I fail as an altaholic. Leafy is pretty much all I play. The observant who followed the first link above will have noted that it has taken over two years for Ularia to gain 12 levels – and she's the fastest moving of my alts right now. But I am running out of things to do with Leaf. Loremaster is in sight, and I do like to fight my way, Boomkin style, through some old dungeons for the Classic Dungeon achievement. And I have stuff I want from Argent Tournament dailies. But these are activities with limited appeal, so the space goat is finally getting some play time again.
Anyone want to bet how high I get her before Cataclysm?
As the good Lady Leafshine begins to run out of campaigns to wage against the Burning Crusade, it’s time for us to turn our attentions to Team Leafy, those younger members of the Alliance that I sponsor. Over the next week or so, I’ll introduce you to the main players in Team Leafy, and then let you vote on who takes the run to 70 first…
Ularia is a decicated follower of the Light, who stands firm in the defence of her allies. Or, in other words, she’s a space goat tankadin that loves nothing more than running into a group of mobs, dropping a consecrate and going to work on them. Now in her 27th season, young Ularia is busy hanging out with her fellow space goats in the goatish enclave of Forest Song, taking the fight (and by fight she means rolling pin) to the heads of demons, orcs and satyrs, to aid Leafy’s people, and her own.
Inevitably, Ularia was born out of a shortage of tanks in my guild. Of course, we’re also short of healers, but the lack of people to stand up front and get hit lots is more acute. So Ularia has her eye on a slot amongst the ghetto crowd control tanks of the guild like Monarch and Glaive. None of that "standing at the back, casting one spell again and again" for her…