Beginning my adventures in Felwood last night, I finally crossed the level 55 barrier after doing just a few quests there. I expected a lot of effort to be required for faction grinding – you need to have Timbermaw Hold rep at least up to Unfriendly to access the passage to Winterspring – but all it took was one quest and stomping the associated mobs. I’d like to get it a little higher, but that can be accomplished pretty easily, probably through the course of some additional questing in the zone.
I also made a Death Knight character, and fooled a little bit with that, getting to level 56 after going through a chunk of the questing. Truth be told, though, I’m not feelin’ the love for the class. The content is very well-done and some of the quests are really pretty neat, but I’m not sold on the Death Knight itself. There are probably multiple reasons for this, starting with the fact that I have no attachment to the character. I’ve played Vaktor for close to 120 hours now, and have had tons of time to feel out all his abilities and establish expectations as to what he can handle in terms of opponents. The Death Knight is almost certainly not underpowered, but it feels like it, since I don’t have that feel for what I can safely get him into and safely out of, nor a broad range of abilities to tap into at need. On top of that, the DK is a similar class to the Paladin that I’ve been playing all along, in terms of archetype, and fill mostly the same roles in gameplay – and thematically, the Death Knight is pretty much exactly the same at the Paladin, only EVIL!. And I’ve never been a big fan of playing EVIL! Mostly the Horde isn’t evil, much less EVIL! But the Death Knights are, and even if they get redeemed through the course of their storyline, they’re still only slightly less EVIL! I think that mustache-twirling villainy can be fun for a little while, but it gets old.
Like I said, though, the Death Knight content is very well-done and there are some pretty cool perks – the blue gear, for example, and the nifty mount that you get probably in the first level. After 55 levels of, y’know… actual adventuring Vaktor only has a few blue pieces. Although the progression upward from here would almost certainly be faster with the Death Knight, at least for the next few levels – getting to 56 from 55 was exceptionally easy – I’m probably going to stick with Vaktor, I think. His stuff may not be as shiny, but he’s earned it, and I’m attached to him. I’ll hopefully get to level 56 or 57 tonight.