Last night I did some questing in Feralas, based out of Feathermoon Stronghold, which is actually on an island off the coast. It’s neat – the fastest way to get there is by boat, and there are actually vendors on the boat that sell provisions and crafting supplies. It’s a jungle zone, and I also got a kick out of the fact that another of the islands off the coast is the “Isle of Dread.” This is the name of one of the classic D&D modules, set on a jungle island. I haven’t explored much of it yet, but the name and layout seem like more than a coincidence – even the coastal outline of the island is reminiscent of the old D&D location. I did have to go there to kill some Naga chieftain, and rooting him out of his cave was kind of tough – there were literally mobs every couple of feet.
At any rate, I ended up gaining a little over three-quarters of a level, putting me into level 46. I am still getting a feel for how the abilities work under the new scheme, but Vaktor does not seem underpowered compared to where he was before – that chieftain was two levels above me, and I took him down along with an even-level add without breaking a serious sweat. I am definitely using a lot less mana now, since I don’t have to refresh my Seals after using a Judgement, of which there are now three different ones that do different things. It’s a bit more straightforward than it was before, if anything, and I don’t see any kind of serious hit to DPS.
I noticed (thanks to handy RestFu,) that last night I hit 100 hours played on Vaktor. I’m not certain that feels quite right, but it’s not totally unbelievable. The great majority of this (from about level 16 or 17 to where I am now,) came in after the leveling speed increases. So much for 20 hours or less to the level cap.
I do plan on getting another two to four hours in tonight. I am using Jame’s Alliance Leveling Guide to help me along, but I’m kind of picking it up right in the middle, so I found that I had to stop midway and fly to Gadgetzan, and then run to Steamwheedle Port to pick up a quest. For the moment I am willing to put up with this – as I get further into the guide it should be less of an issue. There’s actually an addon for the Alliance-side guides that gives you a little mouse-over popup telling you what to do next. Sort of takes the challenge out of it, but then again I don’t plan to necessarily be shy about doing time-wasting activities like crafting, socializing (I’m back in my old guild on Kirin Tor,) fooling around in the Auction House or exploring, so having the pointer doesn’t seem to subtract much from the experience so far. I am also a couple of level ahead of where the guide says I should be, so I have the luxury of being able to skip anything I find especially onerous. There is, alas, no equivalent Horde-side right now.
I’m still futzing with the addons, although I didn’t add anything new last night. There’s a couple of FuBar plugins that I had before that I’ll eventually re-install, plus Cartographer and probably Auctioneer as well.