Day Thirty Two - 19 Sept 2010

I jumped into the queue and was pulled into the Armory immediately. There was an annoying rogue that would pull and otherwise go,go,go but it was never too large and although I had to work to grab threat back, but it all meant the run went quicker. I wanted to get it over with and we did! Herod's Shoulders dropped yet again. Time for a different SM instance.

To finish the Into the Light quest, I ran the Library instance. This group was much better and we zipped through with happiness. Boom, done.

I spent the next bit of time finishing some quests in Desolace, turning up Combatant Claymore, which was an improvement to the old hammer. When I finally got to Southshore, that quest turn in allowed me to ding 40!

My next step was to Ironforge for the Harvest Festival. I flew back to Southshore and started the hike to  Uthor's Tomb. The run to Aerie's Peak was easy enough. There I met fellow guildmember and fellow Dwarf Paladin, Harkalst. He had a special Level 40 Present for me, the full collection of Heavy Mithril armor, which provided me an immediate upgrade. We made a quick dash up the plague mist trail to the back entrance to Uther's Tomb. It made for an interesting role play opportunity, including action with his squire! When I returned to Ironforge to finish the journey, I got my 250th Quest! The day allowed me to get a lot done in a short amount of time. I wish I could have played Sunday, too.

Leveling Scheduling

I plotted out my current rate of increasing level against time and projected a few points using my current pace. It shows I could reach max level on my Vanilla Wow account by the end of next month.

You can see my leveling bumps tend to occur on weekends. I need to continue averaging just more than 3 levels per week to follow the fast pace. Two levels on one weekend morning are easy, but that consumes the Rested XP bonus. Reaching that third level relies on something more. That something extra was quality quest XP from Dungeoning, which happened a couple times, but isn't reliable. Uldaman has too many pre-instance quests that need lots of travel. Still, it's a goal.

I'm going to mention that I don't expect to upgrade to Burning Crusade quickly. I want to experience life as a level 60 for a bit of time. I doubt I can do any level 60 raiding, but I do want to re-run dungeons to complete my Lightforge set and upgrade the Soulforge pieces. I want to also build my PvP gear, but that might be tough at the bottom of a tier. I guess that means staying in Alterac Valley for some time.

Those are my current thoughts. Have you ever delayed adding your expansion?

Day Thirty One - 16 Sept 2010

Now that Kallixta has actually earned Scarlet Monastery, did I want to re-run just to complete the quest? Without a better plan, I thought I'd give it a try. The undead in Desolace fall much quicker at level 38 than at 33! Especially as I was now taking full advantage of Exorcism. With a few more quests in that zone, I had my level 39 before heading to Southshore and the SM quest.

Without a preference, I selected the 3 SM instances on LFD and jumped in the queue. Bam: Cathedral. I found out the others had been in the queue for around an hour. Everyone want the XP, so we worked through all the mobs possible. We lost a DPS just after opening doors to the cathedral itself, a pet chased a runner and suddenly we had 3 more patrols added to a fight. By the time we had run back from the graveyard, the DPS had reconnected. Being more careful, we cleared the cathedral floor and were just flushing out the corner rooms when we lost the healer. There was no warning and we weren't sure what to do. The druid agreed to try to keep an eye on healing while we waited. The rooms provided easy fights without too much worry. A healer joined just in time for the miniboss. I don't know what opens the door to the miniboss's cell, but that was a very easy fight. We provided a summary of the final battle to at least one party member that didn't know the script and the battle was so smooth, I'll never worry about it again.

I won a Nice Mace if I dual spec to Holy next level and I won a great Tanking Shield. The experience was so nice, I think I will return to the Armory and Library to improve my tanking weapon with the quest reward.

Day Thirty - 12 Sept 2010

I managed to take some decent screenshots! I'm certain I can improve, but that I managed these was a small victory.

I participated in Operation Gnomeregan as much as a thirty-something can. I really enjoyed it. It was fun, funny and simple. It was simply enjoyable.
Kallixta Roars!
I roared. I cheered. I did my part.
Kallixta Cheers!

I was energized and dinged level 37 quickly. Fast money and XP was wonderful! I ran around Dustwallow Marsh, completing up a few easy quests, and exploring to completion my first zone in Kalimdor. I also had been accumulating the cards for the Mages Deck. This yielded Darkmoon Pendant which would have been great a week ago, before a satchel dropped a better necklace. Without difficulty, I dinged level 38.

I went to my trainer and felt ready for the SM Cathedral. But just before I selected it, I decided to try a random first. Where did the Random LFD send me? Cathedral!
Another one bites the dust!
I didn't win anything great from the run, except from the satchel itself, with a Monkey's Ring and I immediately equipped. Shifting into a quieter mode, I did some fishing outside Stormgarde Keep in Arathi until my skill was something over 200 and I had sufficient Mithril Head Trout to level my cooking to artisan level as well.

Day Twenty Nine - 6 Sept 2010

Kallixta run through Scarlet Monastery - Armory again, determined to reach level 36. I love how simple and straight forward the dungeon is, reminding me strongly of how Northrend Dungeons operate, straight through to one boss. Despite needing, I missed the Scarlet Leggings.

With the new level, I hurried to my trainer. Actually, since the Paladin trainer is inside the Stormwind Cathedral and the Cathedral is often the home to RP, I've made it a habit that as I'm entering the Cathedral, I toggle my walk/run key and saunter through the Cathedral to my trainer. I also strolled across to the First Aid trainer. I'd been neglecting it a little and had the silk to spare.

When the Artisan in First Aid popped, I got a few gz from my guild and one humorous groan about Tailors weeping. Having been a tailor before, I knew exactly how that felt. I had happy to discover I reached Mageweave Bandages and could sell my spare Silk back for a profit.

It still being early on a holiday, I decided to run a random. I had time if the LFD tool gave me something horribly long or difficult, but it gave me yet another Armory run. I was very pleased. I apparently greeded and won Herod's Shoulders again. I had forgotten I'd already won it and couldn't wear it yet. The Satchel gave me a Ring with stats that just aren't good enough to replace what I'm already using. Oh well.

And I still failed to get a good snapshot!

Day Twenty Eight - 5 Sept 2010

Kallixta worked through her accumulated resources to level her skill in Blacksmithing and Mining. In particular, she pushed past level 200, allowing her to train as Artisan. With the new threshold, she grabbed a bunch of new recipes and created a few Steel Plate Helm, which will hopefully sell for a profit. Kallixta can't wear one herself until level 40.

Since the SM Library was so short and sweet now, hardly taking half an hour, I decided I'd try SM Armory. If anything, it was even easier than the library! Before tackling Herod, I checked that my party knew the script. I didn't even need to worry about the whirlwind much and those non-elites died very, very quick.

I won Dog Training Gloves on greed. I usually pass on things like that, but without thinking too much about it, selected greed and won. With much more deliberation, I hit need after Herod fell and won Herod's Shoulders. I was surprised to discover I'll need to wait before equipping them, too.

Activity for 5 Sep

I'm still horrible at grabbing a screen image when an achievement pops up. Instead I decided to wait for the smoke to clear and got this:

Day Twenty Seven - 4 Sept 2010

The Darkmoon Faire is one of those things I've never explored, despite it being around for years. I had done some research and knew this weekend was my opportunity to experiment. Aldonza had been buying pieces on the cheap for over a month now, things like small furry paws and vibrant plumes. So Saturday morning found Kallixta gathering up her materials and running to Goldshire. There were some surprises as I turned in items for tickets. At least one tier closed early, opening another tier for an extra turn in. Luckily I had far more vibrant plumes than I needed (and planned to sell for a profit now that this week means they're in demand).

So now I'm sitting at 2575/3000 Neutral with the Darkmoon Faire, but still less than 100 tickets. Grinding for reputation or tickets doesn't seem like much fun. The most obvious thing to follow up on would be cards for decks. One in particular appeals to me, the Mages Deck and the Darkmoon Pendant it yields. I'll just shop the Auction House for a bit. If I get stuck, then I'll ask around for an Inscriptionist and provide the materials.

Later in the afternoon, I decided I was ready to tackle a dungeon and selected random. I got the Scarlet Monastery Library. I was nervous about runners and holding aggro. The group was very good and when I hit "share" on the book quest, I was surprised how many didn't have it! They were appreciative and someone else knew exactly where we needed to go. I guess I was a bit cautious in my pulls, but received encouragement for it. I spent time reading every book we passed for the Well Read achievement.

Arcanist Doan fell soon enough.

The satchel provided a necklace with an uninspiring bonus. Turning in the quest gave me level 35, and then I decided to queue up again. I deliberately selected Library this time and had a rare bad pug. When the queue pops, I start typing a Welcome message in the party chat. I often have it ready before everybody zones in. It's usually "Welcome! Let's take a moment to buff and let me know when you're ready". I don't want to sound dictatorial, but it also reminds folks why I'm not running after the first mob. Not this time. I hadn't buffed ANYBODY yet when someone had already dashed into the hall and started combat.

I carefully said something about waiting for the healer to mana up before moving on. I had handled large pulls in the prior run, but I also knew runners meant adds would arrive while Consecration was on cool down, yet the DPS were demanding "BIGGER PULLZ" in lawl speak. After they pulled deliberately again, I had enough. "Then you can tank. Goodbye." And I left the party.

I felt bad about leaving the healer, but there was no way I'd enjoy finishing that pug. It wasn't worthwhile. I refuse to feel guilty. I requeued soon enough and had a thoroughly enjoyable experience. I experimented with bigger and bigger pulls while checking with the party if that was okay. The communication was supportive and I was happy with the result.

With the bad taste diluted after that, I felt I could end the night in good conscience.

I worry about the state of Azeroth Library Science though

Day Twenty Six - 3 Sept 2010

I knew I had to deal with some of those little frustrations right off, and I did. None were difficult and soon I was ready to try Razerfen Downs. I pushed the LFD and we were off. Well, it popped up in two seconds, but the healer declined. The second time in the queue took over 7 minutes.

I had a couple DPS that kept pulling before the priest and I were ready. The Mage would die from the mob, but the warlock managed fine. I would also lose threat to them quickly and asked for a wait to allow me to build threat. After I asked, they did fine.

I accidentally rang the gong before we were ready, but we managed fine. We even 4 manned it as the mage went AFK. We couldn't kick him while there was a loot roll.

Things moved on okay until trying the escort quest. Somebody started the thing before everybody got the quest and it wouldn't allow us to share once he started running, and boy did he run back! We did fine until the final wave with the boss. I got silenced and never managed to reacquire aggro. Somehow we all lived, but it was the scariest fight of the instance.

The rest of the dungeon went better. They'd allow me to acquire the mobs and I didn't lose aggro very often. It all went quick and soon Razorfen Downs popped up.

I traveled to Ironforge before I realized I needed to return to the Stormwind Cathedral to turn in the RFD complete quest. i didn't need the necklace, but I'm very happy with the Vanquisher's Sword,

I went to Desolace for the SM quest chain, but discovered the intermediate chain was asking me to soloing undead that were 3 or 4 levels higher and the fights took way too long for my patience. It would be fine if I could find another to duo with, but that sort of thing just doesn't happen anymore. At least the run to southern Desolace allowed me to mine a bunch of iron and mithril.

I went to Refuge Point and spent 300 Honor for much better boots, I could afford the trinket. but I fear I'd never remember to use the thing.

I did a bit of skill leveling, smelting and smithing. I managed to score a bunch of inexpensive citrines which allowed for me to make some Green Iron Helms that I hope to actually profit on. I managed to dump a bunch more stuff to Aldonza.

Stupid Level 33

There's something strange about my current state. At level 33, the LFD tool offers 3/4 of Scarlet Monastery, yet the In the Name of the Light Quest requires level 34, so I would need to rekill any bosses accomplished on this level. It's a relic of the old instance grouping days and I'm happy there aren't more of these annoyances, but this one is a pain.

Gnomeregan is green and long and confusing, so I've little interest in returning. So that leaves Razerfen Downs. However, both RFD and SM Armory are red. I've noticed that when I run those, I tend to be the lowest level party member and those DPS are much more likely to pull threat. I'm much, much happier at yellow. Oh well.

So far, I've run all these instances available at level (that is, not soloing when my level is twice the appropriate level or something), but I'm not really trying to level with the LFD tool exclusively, like the Pugging Paladin. I want to run the dungeons with most if not all the quests, which means running about gathering them, which often leads to some PvE XP, and that's fine.

But some of these quests are very hard to gather. One of the RFK quests requires a run to Thalanaar in Feralas, but by the time I'm close to level appropriate for that, RFK has dropped off my LFD tool.

Before this rant starts repeating, I'll try to switch gears and talk about gearing.

While being methodical in running dungeons, I don't select them randomly very often. I've gotten lucky on my satchel drops and I'm not hurting for good gear. I've nothing against running things repeatedly for a purpose, but while levelling that conflicts with my interest in trying lots of different things. Therefore I expect I won't be running SM many, many times. Maybe I should because I think the Scarlet Crusade set looks really cool. Of course, everything looks better than my current metal bikini.

Day Twenty Five - 1 Sept 2010

It was a short, somewhat frustrating time last night. I ran through the Scarlet Monastery Graveyard again and with rested XP gained about 1/2 a level.

The frustrations came from several small things. I still haven't gotten ThreatPlates reconfigured correctly, so when I lost threat, it was harder to grab back than it should have been. I also haven't finished writing some macros, remapping some keys or fixing my camera settings.

I really need to include "/script SetCVar("cameraDistanceMax",50)" somewhere. I mapped the camera toggle view, but I'm trying to improve my situational awareness and feel I'm learning too slow.

I was thinking of writing a "/target *RAREBOSS*" kind of macro. The final graveyard boss doesn't give me much loot compared to those rares. Have you got a better method for finding those rare bosses in the graveyard?