Baby Druid is All Grown Up!


Yup, that's my not-so-little lady. Moments after dinging 80 and putting on all her shiny new clothes that she had banked. Including the Jet'ze's Bell that dropped several months ago for Guld in the Storm Peaks.

I spent a while getting her dual spec purchased, and gemming an enchanting everything, then hopped into the LFD finder, with my pocket priest healer. After a few successful runs where I did respectable DPS (nice to see druid AOE in the 5s can do so well), I even set my priest go, and did some on my own.

Later this week, I'll need to dig through the interwebs to find a good Boomkin and Resto spec, and for some ideas on spell priorities. It has, after all, been over a year since I've had a max level druid to DPS with.

In other alt news, I cleaned up the mage's teribad spec, and finally took her to CoS, netting her a Drake (I actually won a roll against another person. For serious!) Her DPS is much improved. Yeah!

And finally, took the shaman in to one of our alt ICC 10s. Was somewhat amused that we got the Saurfang speed kill achievement on our alts. Somewhat less amused to note that certain alts with a ton of ilvl 200/219 gear did higher DPS than better geared mains of the same spec have done in there. Cough.

Happy Monday, and Safe Travels!

Long Weekend Update Grab Bag


Alts and Achievements

Slowly but surely, I keep pushing my alts up that leveling hill. My warlock hit the big 4-0 on Monday, which meant...PONY!! The druid actually hit 78 too, but all she got were some feral talent upgrades she'll never use.


Anexxia got her Love Fool title while my shaman got started on it, and I tried to make a small dent in the Elders achievement as well. I get a little restless doing an achievement as unwieldy and far flung as the Lunar Festival with its trekking across the globe to honor the Elders. So I have combined it with outstanding area exploration and herbing. I do need to give props to Blizzard for replacing the TB Elder with Ezra Wheathoof. It was a classy touch.


Raid-wise, we had a good attempt on Putricide in 10 (40% when most of us in the team had not seen him), and in 25 we got Festergut to 9% which far exceeds our prior attempts. It took a while to get the spore management flowing properly, and we had to suspend attempts while a raid member had an extended work-related AFK. But our final attempt showed we can do it if we get folks to show up and focus next week. It was a positive end to a week that found folks expressing frustration in our forums RE: the lack of progress in ICC over the past month.

Personally, I would, of course, like for us to progress more quickly. And I also get frustrated when folks haven't come to raids prepared (i.e. both knowing the strats and having their flasks/food.) And I understand how it can feel annoying when folks get caught up on fight mechanics that seem simple.

To be frank, given the turmoil we had earlier this month with all of our raid schedulers quitting that task, a healer and DPS giving themselves a multi-week time out from raiding and a tank and DPS leaving the guild entirely, I am happy we have tread water. And I am confident as things have stabilized that we can and WILL do better.

Furthermore, the guild's charter is to be inclusive with the raiding, which is always going to mean a slower pace. But since we don't even have a Cataclysm BETA in place, we are looking at not having another raid to conquer for what? 6 months? Thinking back to the end of BC, folks got to where they could get in BT (or not as the case may be) then defaulted to running their myriad alts through Kara. I personally ran and geared up 4 toons through there and made myself thoroughly sick of it.

We've got plenty of time to conquer the Lich King. And unlike Ulduar, which only 1 10-man in our guild completed, and only one time at that, we won't be running up against an easy loot pinata raid with better ilvl gear.

We have time to work on this and to improve. Folks just need a little patience.

Spoiled Alts Update


Baby Warlock Hit 35!

  • Engineeering maxed out at 300; next skill up opportunity available at 50.
  • Felhunter procured after much running around in Azeroth.
  • Need to go to Gadget and visit Jordy Lapforge to learn the recipe for my gadgetzan transporter.
  • Enjoying pulling out my sexy Arcanite Dragonling, especially when standing around in Dalaran on important business.
  • Not yet hitting that mid-30s "OMGIAMTIREDOFQUESTING" slump, but I've only spent an hour or two in STV so there is still time.
  • Overall just really having fun dinking around on her, even with her being in the bank alt guild and not a real guild. It probably causes me to be more immersed in what I am doing to never have more than 3 folks online at a time.
  • Must mail her the mana return trinket that I have pretty much stopped using on the druid in favor of the blue trinkets she's procured.
  • Enjoying the things that feel similar in playstyle to my shadow priest, but noting there is enough variety and difference that I don't understand when people say they are the same. No sir, they certainly are not. They just have a dark affinity is all.
  • Have not yet random dungeoned on her but will start it soon so I can work on my pet choice and management.

Baby Druid crept up to 74

  • Managed to eek out exactly 1 level on the druid this weekend.
  • Spent rest of weekend thinking about how I didn't feel like playing the druid.
  • Dragonblight's primary non-group quests completed, and thus onward to Grizzly Hills next time.
  • Had horrifying realization I have done some of these quests...6 or 7 times now, in the past 12 months. More if you count helping friends do them. Bleh!
  • Had a Nexus run last weekend where she did 1600 DPS on a boss fight; in light of that, boggle at level 80 rogues in randoms not breaking 1k DPS. Why? Why?
  • Recalling how painful the gear grind was on my druid when WotLK was shiny and new a year ago.
  • Wondering if the druid will be shelved alongside the mage once she dings 80, rotting away save for a daily or weekly quest at a time.
  • Resolved to keep slowly at her leveling, playing when it feels right to do so, not worried about the slowness of speed. 80 will still be there in a month. Or two.
  • Will try to stomach the impatient chain pulling random instance tanks in order to get questing and XP done in a less repetitive manner.

After these two hit 80, no new alts! My Alliance shadow priest and mage still linger in the 70s so they'll be the last alt projects. Until Cataclysm strikes and I have to make new toons to see the new starting areas, that is.


Happy Alting!

Friday Five: 5 Things I'd Like to Accomplish Over This Long MLK Weekend


  1. Determine which -- if any -- of the shiny new armory feeds I want to add to my blog template. 3-D SP model would be nice, yes?
  2. Get baby lock (currently 27) to 35. Lofty goal but with 2 levels of rested XP + 2 BOAs, it could happen. Why 35? To train up engineering again, of course.
  3. Find some nice quiet time to write some posts for the blog. The last week or so has been way too busy and my "to write" idea list is getting pretty long.
  4. Do a few hours more of random dungeons on my shaman, to enable her to acquire her second piece of T9.
  5. Continue to push along the druid, as she edges towards 80. She's now 71 and needs to do her Coldarra quests and get in a Nexus run.
Whata re your plans for the weekend?

On Shimmering Druid Wings


My baby horde druid is now in Northrend, and having attained level 71, has her pretty epic flight form. This shot, however, is from right after she got her plain old regular flight form, at level 60, in Hellfire Peninsula, but I love this Christmas Eve shot for the gorgeous sky.

I'm no fan of HFP due to many bitter memories of quests that took hours and respawns that randomly went from taking forever to all popping at once on top of you back in the early days of BC.

But I am a huge fan of flying, especially on my druids (baby druid being my first horde druid, but my former Alliance main is a level 80 druid.) My first druid got a significant portion of levels 68-70 from flying around exploring the rest of Outlands. The only reason I didn't do the same on this one is I have been leveling her with a friend so I couldn't get ahead in XP like that. Ditto for why I have yet to do the druid swift flight form chain, which I thought was incredibly well-done, but I will go back and do it at 80.

But there is something incredibly peaceful about gliding around on druid wings. I pan around to see the sights, and enjoy the traveling to and fro. While on other characters I might still hop a flight path and AFK, even though they also have epic flight, on my druids I always want to take the me-directed route there.

She's a skinner, not an herber or a miner, so the epic speed flight won't really help her gather. But it does give her the independence to make her own path, and show off doing loop-de-loops with /mountspecial. And sometimes, it's those little things that matter, at least to me.

Happy Tuesday!

Professions Synergy


This sexy Tauren is my bank alt. He is one of the primary keys to my ability to make my horde-side professions somewhat profitable. But the other equally important component to that profitability is my having chosen complimentary professions that can help each other out. For my horde characters, it breaks out like this:

  • shadow priest is a tailor/herbalist
  • mage is an alchemist/herbalist (elixir mastery for the flask procs)
  • shaman is a miner/jewelcrafter
  • druid is a skinner/leatherworker
  • SO has an enchanter and an inscriptionist

Alliance-side is similarly aligned:

  • druid is an enchanter/skinner
  • mage is an alchemist/herbalist (elixir mastery for the flask procs)
  • shadow priest is an inscriptionist/herbalist
  • SO has a leatherworker, engineer, and blacksmith

That's right. Not only did I pick my alts' professions with an eye on how they could feed into each other, I took my SO's professions into consideration as well to come up with a mix that would cover most of our bases.

Each day, my alchemist transmutes an epic gem and sends it to the JC. The JC makes an icy prism daily, sending the blue quality gems back to the alchemist, along with the eternals she mines, cutting the epic gems and sending them to the bank alt. All herbs gathered go to the alchemist for making whatever flasks I need and whatever elixirs are selling well in the AH. The two maxed fisherwomen do the fishing daily (the third does it only when it's the sewers, slowly increasing her skill), sending any usable fish to the bank alt to be held for the druid's eventual push to 450 cooking.

Alliance side had mirrored this as well, until I faction changed the shaman and moved her over to the horde. Additionally, as I leveled the tailoring and the SO leveled the leatherworking, all excess items that were not especially saleable were funneled to the enchanter for DEing. The inscriptionist made me plenty of scrolls so no enchanting skill-up points were ever wasted.

These interwoven professions didn't initially happen by design. But when I moved my shadow priest to her current server and started up my army of alts there, I did take what I'd learned from several years of good professions synergy with my Alliance characters and apply it. Some professions, especially enchanting, are really expensive and time consuming to level without having additional toons and their professions excess feeding into them. And since the excitement over getting to train new recipes and make fabulous new goodies has long been a driver of getting me to work on my alts, it works out very well all around.

So next time you roll an alt, and are tempted to pick two gathering professions or a repeat of an easy profession you've previously breezed through, take a minute to think about if you have an opportunity to make your profession leveling less painful -- or more profitable -- by considering it in context of your own little crafting cabal.

Baby Tauren Druid Hit Level 40


Despite the small amount of time I have to play her, my baby druid hit 40 today. It was a momentus ding thanks to it bringing me BOOMkin form and enabling the purchase of her epic Kodo!

Kids these days...grumble grumble...they don't appreciate how hard we old timers had it...we used to get our SLOW MOUNT at 40! And the epic at 60! And we LIKED IT THAT WAY!

Oh hai, wait, no, it was a pain.

Special thanks to my lovely leveling partner, Candelie. Boomkin+ Elemental Shaman=win. We have consistently done orange quests throughout our leveling process, and only run into trouble in a bugged ruin in STV that had invisible mobs come out of the floor to murder us.

At this rate, we may be to Outlands before the 3.3 alt mana preservation changes hit.

Friday Five: Five To Dos for my Baby Druid this Weekend

  1.  Get to level 40! A faster mount will make the leveling so much faster!
  2. Stop obsessing about those last 3 leatherworking skill points. You can't train up Leatherworking again until you hit level 50 and get to Shatt anyhow.
  3. Get a port to Dalaran to set your hearthstone in a more convenient place.
  4. Obtain the Scarlet MonasteryZF quests and see about getting a group for it (or bribe someone for a runthrough)
  5. Stop and take some screenies while terrorizing STV with that crazy shaman!

Baby druid is 36 now, and still being leveled as Boomkin. Because I am a masochist. Wait, no, that's not it. I am just a ranged spellcaster at heart. Having a shaman leveling buddy helps though, since mana spring totem is nearby at all times, so I don't have to drink quite every pull.

I need to dig around and find a more updated leatherworking leveling guide since WoWiki's guide includes making the riding crop which 1) won't sell and 2) with Primal Mights at 150g each, doesn't really seem all that economical to me. Yes my mage could transmute them, but those old world mats aren't cheap ether. And since you can't use the crop past level 70, they feel like a big money sink without much return on investment. Meh.

Happy Friday!

Not Living Up to My Potential


Last night, a guildie whispered to ask if I wanted to bring an alt to 10-man ToC. Sadly, I had to decline because, truth be told, my alts are not up for it.

I got spoiled last expansion -- I had 1 progression raiding toon, 1 able to do mid-tier raids and 2 more who rocked Kara like nobody's business. I always had a toon ready and willing to fill in on a raid. But that's just not how it is now.  Limited play time has been spent primarily raiding, or farming herbs. There simply has not been time -- or, honestly, interest on my part, to farm up a stack of badges to gear out the shaman and the mage.

I'm in that pre-expansion slump.

Right now, it seems more pressing to get the druid to 80 so that I can go into the next expansion with four 80s horde side (mirroring my four 70s Alliance side for BC start). So for now, I'll work on NaNoWriMo, make Twitter lists, play Dragon Age: Origins, and wait for the Sims 3 expansion, doing raids and chatting with friends, and live with just not being ready for the big raids on my alts.

My 80 Mage's Starter Kit

My mage finally made it to 80 this weekend. But I feel a little sorry for her. Because after spending all this time and energy leveling, I am a bit burnt out on what comes next. You see, she's 80 number four for me. And at this point, I am more than a little tired of the gear-up-the-alt grind, to be frank. So she is going to have to suffice for now with the entry-level gear kit I assembled for her. Everything she's wearing I was able to craft or purchase cheaply on the AH, with the exception of the trinkets, which were courtesy of our Brewfest boss farming.


Cheap AH Purchase/Lucky Drop

She still needs level 80 rings, but it's not a bad start. I won't be embarrassed to bring her on headless horseman farm runs, and guild heroics. Which is good since realistically, given my work schedule + our raid schedule + having another alt ahead of her for gearing out, this is as good as it is going to get for a while.

I assembled the gear over the course of about a month, with the most expensive item being the Spellblade (tho I mined all the ore and used my + guildies' titansteel cooldowns), and only bought the Sash of Jordan because it was up in the AH for under 150g. That was too good a price to pass up. The shoulders were a lucky drop in Naxx some time ago which I held on to as incentive to get her to level cap.

Meeting My Mage Alt's Goals Slowly But Surely

BrewFest Mounts 2009 ScreenShot_100409_131042

Although I would like her to hurry up and get to 80 already, I am still pleased with my mage's progress over the past few weeks. Our raiding schedule has picked up considerably (more on this later in the week), so it has not left as much time to play lowbies as I would like. But still, progress has been made. She is now sitting midway through 78, with Sholazar Basin fairly complete and plans to do the Hodir chain in Storm Peaks next.

The screenshot above shows my SO and I on our Brewfest mounts. Through some RNG miracle, we each got one as did Sawyer, our frequent partner in WoW crime and 3-man Brewfest boss farming partner. This scratched "get a presentable mount" off my to-do list for the mage.

In case you don't recognize the location of this scenic shot, it's inside the Black Morass Caverns of Time instance. We did this baby twice (after completing the Escape from Durnholde) to farm up the infinite essences for my alchemy specialization quest. I am now elixir spec'd, and sitting at 446 alchemy, waiting for frost lotus to be available for less than 50g each to get those last 4 points, and thus start on the epic gem transmutes. Overall though, I am pleased with getting her crafting profession mostly squared away.

The other big project was amassing  a set of level 80 blues and craftables to ease her into heroics once she dings 80. Ideally, it's nice to do some regular 8 instances first, but this far into the expansion, it's near impossible to get a regular ToC 5man, let alone anything else. Thanks to our previously mentioned Brewfest farming, she has two epic trinkets squirreled away, I had the epic dagger crafted, and I have shiny new gear for ever slot waiting, except for a second ring, which my JC will craft once I have the titanium.

It's going to feel good to reclaim all that bank space, and to be presentable right out of the starting gate.

I don't have plans to alt raid with her, so she's likely a pretty close to finished project. That means the baby druid will get to be played finally. The help of the BoA chest, trinket, shoulders and mace should make her go even quicker than my other ladies. I can't wait. It's always fun to have an alt project to work on...

Have a good maintenance day.

Friday Five: Five Goals for this Weekend


  1. Get a couple of levels on the mage. She is stuck at 4 bars from 76. She deserves some attention.

  2. Install and configure Grid for the shaman to make healing easier (to compensate for the large real estate of this screen.)
  3. If the mage finishes Sholazar Basin, drop the skinning and train up the alchemy.
  4. Gem and enchant the ToC chest I won the other night so I can swap out my existing T8 chest. Adjust hit rating via swapping out gems and enchants on all other gear, again.
  5. Get some more tries at Coren Direbrew. Want kodo!!

Small Victories: Wrathgate Edition


This weekend, my SO and I got ourselves through the Wrathgate chain. Although this is my fourth time completing it (second time horde-side), I still sit through the entire video, eyes glued to the screen. Yes, I know what's going to happen, but it doesn't make the cinematic any less engrossing.

If somehow you haven't actually made it through the Wrathgate chain and are reading this, stop reading now lest it be spoiled for you.

It is such a great moment watching Saurfang the younger lead the horde in to join the battle with the Alliance forces. Lok'tar ogar! United and fearless, they challenge Arthas together, but are no match for the Lich. Arthas, who sucks out Saurfang Jr.'s soul with Frostmourne after slaying him. But that's not the moment that gets to me the most. It's the plight of the Foresaken.

My first time through on my undead, when Putress showed up on the hill and said "Did you think we had forgotten? Did you think we had forgiven?" I have to admit I empathized with him some. As a group, could the Foresaken hate anyone more than Arthas? And didn't we all have an inkling as we ran errands for the Royal Apothecary Society that it was quite probably not going to be used for humanitarian purposes? Like that cat we changed into a radioactive wildcat for them in Felwood?

"Behold, now, the terrible vengeance of the Forsaken! Death to the Scourge! And death to the living!"

But that's where the sympathy ends. My Forsaken ladies don't want to cull the earth of the living and the scourge. They mostly want to be left alone. As Bolvar is overcome with the plague, falling to his knees, I am sad that the Horde and the Alliance will both come to mistrust the Forsaken as a result of Putris' treachery. Sure, we grab Thrall and Lady Sylvanas (Now! With not improved! More emo! Voice acting!) and help take back Undercity, but it's the Alliance who goes after Putress. And Varian Wrynn wants more than ever to purge the earth of all horde. Can a man who insults Thrall and Sylvanas with "Trash like you and this evil witch were allowed to roam free -- unchecked." ever ally with us? 

The Cinematic and the Battle for the Undercity event pulled us into Wrath of the Lich King like no other quest chain had before. The closest event that comes to mind would be the completion of the Alliance Onyxia keying chain wherein you escorted Marshall Windsor into Stormwind. Unmasking the treachery of Lady Katrina Prestor who then murders Windsor in cold blood, summoning her dragons and beating a hasty retreat. Incidentally that s where many Alliance meet Bolvar Fordragon the first time -- as he single-handedly fought back her dragon guards, avenging his friend's death. I had hoped we'd cross paths with Bolvar again and am alwaays sad that we do, only to see him cut down. Could he have helped unite the horde and alliance forces? We'll never know now.

Thank you Blizzard for this gift to the players. It makes slogging through the leveling worth it each time.

I Took the Faction Change Plunge and Lived to Tell About it


My Draenie shaman is no more. As I had pretty much decided when they announced faction changes, I took the plunge and faction changed her so she could be a part of my horde pirate family. The hardest part of the endeavor was saying goodbye to the friends I have Alliance-side, accumulated over the past almost four years. I still have my druid on the server, but honestly, I mostly logged on this lady to do Jewelcrafting dailies and say hello to folks. Moving her to the horde cements my transition for them, and for me. I will try to chip away at them over time to get them to come play with us horde-side...this means YOU Milch and Thar and El and Jay!!

The overall process was easy enough, though it took me some extra time due to not being aware that read mail in my box would be an issue. Once it was safely deleted, my faction change went through within a couple of hours, and the server move within minutes after that. And thus, on Saturday morning, I was on a zeppelin to Northrend. I had almost all of the Northrend horde FPs, minus Gundrak and one of the Argent Crusade quest hubs. I retained my achievements for number of quests completed but my running tally halved itself. Good thing I am not pursuing loremaster! The contents of my bags all switched over without incident, except for my mechano hog. A GM ticket and a 24-hour wait were all it took, however, for that to be resolved so my SP could be riding in style.

My alliance characters, with so many years under their belts and a wide assortment of professions across them as well, are more prosperous than my hordies. And I had stashed a variety of cloth items for my not-yet-leveled up alts (who may never be leveled at this point.) So I made sure to consolidate all the goodies on my shaman to bring them with me. An especially fortuitous score was the Tome of Polymorph Turtle, on the AH for 350g. I have probably lost rolls on that thing a half dozen times over the course of my many ZG fishing boss summons.

It's been 8 months since I played my shaman for more than a few minutes time. Thus it took me a while to get back into the swing of things. For one thing, I hadn't healed on her since I was on my wee laptop and see I will need to install grid or some unit frames to not lose my mind doing that. I am getting her DPS well sorted, tho somehow she only had healing gear -- except for the heroic CoS pants. Her sorry state of gear is due in large part to the fact that she and my druid swapped in and out, boss-by-boss for our tiny 10-man guild's Naxx runs at the beginning of the year.

But even if I am DPSing ToC primarily in healing gear, and white-knuckle healing through the other heroics, it's nice to actually have the opportunity to get her out and about and playing again. I've really missed playing her. And it's nice to have my pocket JC available whenever needed. It has been strange for me to only have 1 level cap character for the past 6 months horde-side. Ever since vanilla, I've always had a stable of alts to choose from -- so i could be a swiss-army knife for whatever activity our friends and guildies were up for. It feels great to have that flexibility again.

My verdict? Well worth the money.

Next up: getting the mage to 80!

P.S. I took the shaman for one last chopper joy ride with her main squeeze right before I transferred:


<3 that Wrenzil.

Friday Five: Five Things to Do to Get Ready for a Faction Change

If you're like me, and have decided to make the faction jump with one of your characters, you were probably itching to go as soon as the news broke on Wednesday that Faction Changes were now available. But before you hit the "Faction Change link on your account management page, there are a few to do's to make the experience a better one:

  1. Read the FAQs. Even if you're not a reading the instructions kind of a person. They link out to conversion tables for gear, achievements, and mounts. This way you'll be mentally prepared for all the changes ahead and not wndering why you have a bunch of chocobo mounts
  2. Since you read the FAQs, you'll know you can only bring over 20,000 gold on your level 70-80s. So if you have more than that, you'll have to convert it into items you can use or sell once your change is complete.
  3. To make the most of #2, CLEAN OUT YOUR BAGS! Delete every easily-replaceable food/drink, thread or other cheap crafting materials, etc. Are you really ever going to use those old clown pants? Are you? Be ruthless in your assessment.
  4. If you plan on a server change after your faction change, determine if your name is avialable. If not, put some thought into alternative names you'd like, and see if they are available. The easiest way to do this is to /friend mycoolname while logged on to that server. What you want to see returned is player not found.
  5. OK your bags and bank have been purged, your name researched, and you're ready to go. There's one last thing you should do: document the moment. Take a screenshot of your character in one of your favorite faction-specific places to remember them by.

I'm moving my shaman over this weekend and am really excited. I'll be saying goodbye to an old friend in doing so, but will actually get to avoid the leveling slog to get to play her. At this point, it's highly unlikely I'll make a return to the Alliance, and certainly not on my server home of the past 3.75 years.I'm excited at the new possibilities.


Leveling my Mage 58-68 in the Post-patch 3.2 World


In two weeks of moderate playing, that also included a significant amount of raiding and Conquest badge farming on my main, my baby mage sped from 58 through the Dark Portal to Outlands, and up to 68 and into Northrend this weekend. This is thanks primarily to the many alt leveling changes that dropped in Patch 3.2.

Despite my long-standing dislike of Hellfire Peninsula, I forced the mage to start there, knowing it would quickly provide her with significant staff, hat, and boot upgrades. I did not need the chestpiece since she is rocking the new badge heirloom chest in addition to the shoulders. Together, these pieces provide a 20% XP increase from both questing and killing monsters. This is on top of any rested increases she had from time-to-time.

As soon as she dinged 60, she purchased her flying mount, now available at Thrallmar. This was the final key component to her zooming through the next 8 levels.

I cherry-picked my way through my favorite quests in Hellfire, Zangermarsh, Terrokar Forest, and Nagrand, hitting all the key quests with gear upgrades. I made sure to stop over in Mok'Nathal for the cooking recipe quests, and in Netherstorm for the cool pink goggles. I fully explored the map in each zone, grabbing the flight paths too. Each uncovered zone netted 1200 or so XP on average; in my final day in Outland as I finished up and got the Outland exploration achievement, I earned a solid 6 bars from exploring alone.

Some reminders for mages in this leveling phase:

  • Be sure to go back to Ashzara any time after 60 to quest for your polymorph pig spell
  • You can learn your Shattrath teleport at 60, then the portal at 65 
  • Especially if you have the boost from badge gear, keep up your mage armor at most times; the extra mana regen can keep you going from evocation cooldown to evocation cooldown, instead of having to drink every few pulls

I have not yet started any Northrend questing, but I did go through a few essential ready steps:

  • My 80 sent her the heirloom tome of cold weather flight(costs $1,000 g from the cold weather flying trainer in Dalaran) so she could immediately start flying at 68
  • I flew from Vengeance landing to Moa'ki Harbor, then up to Dalaran, grabbing flight paths as I went
  • Once in Dalaran, I set my hearth there (can train for the teleport at 71)
  • Got started on the cooking dailies
It will be interesting to see if her leveling velocity stays the course now that she is in Northrend, or if it is slowed down by virtue of having more folks out there jockeying for quest mobs, etc.

Friday Five: Five Nice Changes for Your Alts

In the past week+ since 3.2 dropped I've seen that many folks were not aware of the many awesome changes in the patch that positively affect alts and leveling. And thus, I bring you today's five great changes for your alts:

  • Inventory your badges and buy your favorite alt their BOA chest with 10% experience boost. If you have more than 1 alt that is a spellcaster, buy the cloth version so you can share them back-and-forth when the mood to play strikes. YES you really can share them with multiple alts-- that's totally the point! And the 10% bonus XP from the shoulders stacks with the chest making leveling a lot less of a chore.
  • Get thee to the stables! Chances are your alt is now eligible for a mount: Apprentice Riding (Skill 75) can now be learned at level 20 for 4 gold; Journeyman Riding (Skill 150) can now be learned at level 40 for 50 gold.That's right -- epic land mounts to help you zip around as you quest!
  • Get ready to fly your way through Outlands and Northrend. Your level 60 may purchase Expert Riding (Skill 225) for 600 gold from trainers in Honor Hold or Thrallmar. Then, your 80 can purchase the Tome of Cold Weather Flight which will allow you level 68 alt to start flying through Northrend a sollid 9 levels before you were able to do so. Unfortunately, it is consumed upon use unike the other Heirloom BoA items.
  • If you have a baby druid at level 16, run them over to the druid trainer to buy Travel Form. If not, enjoy knowing that you too will save some travel time for your alts thanks to the Azeroth postal system finally adding some more mailboxes to the major ities that previously had one gridlocked box.
  • The days of running to the Blasted Lands to get to the Dark Portal and doing the death ride to Shattrath are over. The portal areas in all major cities now provide a portal to the Blasted Lands that pops you out in view of the Dark Portal. And after crossing through the Dark Portal, players can access a flight path directly from the Stair of Destiny to Shattrath.
Overall, a nice selection of time-saving changes that will make leveling your next alt a lot less painful. Thank you Blizz!