The day started and ended in Un'Goro crater for Kallixta, but in between she managed to earn another couple of levels, reaching level 54. All the prior leveling had eliminated the accumulated rested XP, but quests and mobs still rewarded well. Somehow the crater doesn't feel as crowded. Has anybody else noticed it seems easier to run in some direction without gathering too many dinosaurs chasing you?
I deliberately spent more travel time close to the crater wall where Mining Nodes were plentiful. It was no trouble mining up to my level cap. I had a lot of trouble with one mini-boss. It killed me three times before I realized how bad some of my habits had become. I wasn't taking advantage of things like Lay-on-hands! My positioning was obviously bad, so I tried concentrating on that, without noticing perfect positioning wasn't needed. It's a little scary to think of how much I'm not using and will need to retrain myself in before long.
As a reminder, up to this point there have been two accounts in the household. Martuska has been on the old same account as Syylia which was upgraded to Cataclysm, but Kallixta and Aldonza were on a second account. I've now upgraded that account to Burning Crusade. The spark for this was two-fold. First, the price has dropped drastically and it made an easy late Christmas present to myself. Second, Kallixta is close to the top. I considered what it would be like to keep her level capped and explore things like Vanilla raids at level. I'm not sure of everything that has changed in my thinking, but using Kallixta to explore Cataclysm end-game content has become a stronger interest. I don't think it'd be practical to try things like Molten Core without the strong intentional support of a like-minded crew.
With BC, I could now add a Draenei, Budgie Elf, Death Knight, or Jewelcrafter. Of those, I'll probably roll a Death Knight first, but probably not for a few months. I'll probably need to include the Wrath expansion before I do that.
The shift from LFD to Questing has finally caught up to Kallixta's equipment. She's no longer earning blue upgrades and the final few Un'Goro quests rewarded her with some greens that actually were improvements on her existing choices. So during one break, due to frustration over that difficult mini-boss, I took the time to switch her equipment. Chest, Wrist, Hand, Mace, and Shield were all replaced. I realized how used to seeing that shield I'd become. I'm going to miss it. When Kallixta upgraded to plate, many changes weren't seen, being under the tabard, and I don't have the helm visible. The shield alone makes a big difference in my perception of her. I imagine I'll adjust, but I haven't yet.
One consequence of this change underscored that not only were the blues of superior value, they were also of high item level. Everything but my current bracers is flagged as "low level". I don't believe them to be too low level, but I expect it means things like Rugged Armor Kits actually are providing a bigger relative improvement than before. It'll be something to keep an eye on.
By the way, I finally discovered how to resync Kallixta on wowhead. It was another habit I was too lazy to push. It's not like it was some big secret, just different than how I used to do it.
The Short Term Plan
Do y'all spend much time plotting out where you will take a character next? I'm mostly following Ding85, which will probably get Kallixta to level 56 in Un'Goro Crater, but next it suggests Swamp of Sorrows, before hitting the Blasted Lands. The intention is that this plan gets you to level 58 at which time you head to Outland, but I'm leveling faster than the plan. I'll probably skip Swamp of Sorrows, but as long as the Blasted Lands aren't boring and grindy, I'll complete it instead of heading out as soon as I ding 58. However, I will probably jump to Shattrath early so I can train up my Mining and Blacksmithing. Sound good?