So I’ve spent the first half of last week trying to find time for Cataclysm while running from one appointment to the next and taking care of all sorts of paperwork. It’s been hectic times for me, in fact this year seems to be a ‘cataclysmic’ one indeed, not just on Azeroth but my own private world has been revamped quite a bit. It’s been a year of endings and new beginnings and just when Blizzard decided to launch their new world, I’m looking at a fresh start too. After a tedious application procedure that lasted for several weeks, I finally got the final phonecall telling me I got the job I wanted 3 days ago. It’s the one goal I still had for 2010 and makes Cataclysm week a truly special week in my book!
Now I wouldn’t be a real WoW gamer if the euphoria wasn’t instantly accompanied with a least some worries – “oh noes, no more time for Cataclysm now!” and “how am I gonna keep up with all the new work?” – so I’ve plunged myself into WoW ever since I got the news, canceling further duties and exploring as much as I could. I have stayed away from pretty much all the beta information and screenshots before to make this the real deal and weeee, I’m having fun!
I absolutely love Vash’jr as expected. They’ve really done as good job by handing you those speedy seahorses early which makes traveling down there so much easier (they look awesome too!). The zone is by far the most original and unique one in the game for obvious reasons, there is so much new flora and fauna to see, it’s an explorer’s delight! And while Grumpy Dorf is still resisting me by saying he hates murlocs, the beasts you really get to re-meet down there aplenty are the naga. I loved Lady Vashj, so it’s all fine by me.
I went to Hyjal later which is a great zone as well, the whole vanilla-WoW feel to it (you are the BOMB!), the variety of sub-zones and the cave questlines. One thing I noticed is that Cataclysm doesn’t exactly blow me away in terms of soundtrack like WotLK did, but Hyjal makes up for that a little.
Deepholm is impressive and depressing at the same time, intimidating and otherwordly. I’ve mostly been there to fish so far (I’ll do anything that helps me avoid the AH in order to skill up my professions at the moment) and got my ass kicked by the mobs there – damn, they hit a lot harder after 83, don’t they?!
Twilight Highlands look nice but nothing I haven’t seen already and better in WotLK. When it comes to woods and highland feeling, you can’t really top Grizzly Hills and Howling Fjord.
Uldum is not my thing at all, way too geometrical and ‘clinic’ for my taste. It reminds me of past nightmares in Silithus and the AQs so despite Stumps telling me how awesome the quests are in there, I’m likely to stay away until I run out of things to do. I will of course eventually want the reputation, sigh.
I’m leveling my way up in healing spec, smiling a little at all the shadow-priests that have suddenly popped up all around me – it almost seems as if holy and disc don’t exist anymore outside of dungeons. When I logged into WoW on Wednesday, I was shocked to find how many lvl 85 there were already and decided that I definitely didn’t need to speed things up further. I’m fine leveling as disc.
I’ve also been very eager to test group healing and have healed all the instances up to lvl 84 until now. The most irritating part was probably that mana seems to get exponentially worse with every ding – it feels like a big chunk of it is disappearing with each level or well…staying the same while everything else goes up. The scaling steps are miserable and having just hit 84, I can see what’s going to happen next.
That said, I’ve not struggled on any runs so far, but I’ve only been in there with my guild. The few times we miss-pulled or aggroed several packs, I used my saves and shadowfiend and was completely out of mana afterwards – which is great. Amagad, I am using all my spells again, not just once a month in a 25man raid but in a NON-HEROIC 5man!!
I’ve started to use heal now because flashheal has become unaffordable but I’m struggling with the 2.3sec cast I got at the moment. This has gotta come down bigtime, obviously my gear is still far from ready. I can also not find a lot of use for my Chakras because of this, I can’t maintain either of them very well on 5man and I’ve had absolutely no reason to use Sanctuary so far. New idea for Heal-Chakra: remove Renew-refresh and give 30% haste buff on heal instead!
Am currently wearing a mix of old epics and new blues and try to get my hands on as much spirit and haste as I can. I actually like holy mastery too, it should become quite huge in raids with proper numbers.
I look forward to throw myself into heroics (and that funky lvl 85 blue set from the JP vendor) soon. I’ve gotten over my initial shock of how fast leveling is and expect myself to give this a go in about a week or so. I would like to assemble a completely new gear-set before I attempt this.
Apart from all that, I’ve tried to keep my inner zen and not go into a frenzy over all the things I still need to do and find out about (professions! reputations! minipets! gnlgnpffl!), telling myself that there’s TIME and really no need to rush it. I’ve played around with archeology a little and can see this is going to be boring fast. The alchemy mount is definitely not on the agenda for me.
That’s all for now, back to exploring! Enjoy this first week everybody and remember: the faster you go, the older it gets!