North I Go!

It seems like I have little to talk about this week. I’m still playing WoW, and making good progress across the board.

With our Druids finally at level 30 (it felt like we had to struggle a bit to get the last two or three levels,) Mrs. Ardwulf and I have moved on to trying to get out Hunter/Priest duo to that level as well. They’d sat for a couple of weeks at 20, but we’re now at 22.

I stuck Vaktor’s head into Nagrand a little bit the other night, but didn’t make anything like serious progress. Last night I ran about 20 quests there, just barely enough to crest to level 68. I immediately flew to Shattrath, ported to Stormwind, dumped everything in the bank, the AH or at a vendor, wiped my quest log totally clean, and caught the boat to Valiance Keep in the Borean Tundra.

It’s a bit liberating, in a way, to start so clean, with no bag clutter, no junk sitting in your quest log and in a fresh (and by all accounts very shiny,) new zone. And in this case I’m a couple of levels under the target of the zone, so things are a bit more challenging than they might otherwise be. This combined with the fact that my gear is swiftly being upgraded (I gained over 600 HP through +Stamina gear from quest rewards last night) made for a fun experience.

Within mere minutes of starting quests in Northrend I’d upgraded my primary weapon to a big, weird-looking two-handed sword. I haven’t used a sword in something like 30 levels, so it took a lot of grinding on those weird undead bug things hanging out in front of Valiance Keep to get it up to a point where I could start moving on the quests again. The effort in the case is worth it, because the new weapon is even slower and deals something like 40 more DPS than the old axe, so the top-end damage is much, much higher. (Recall that slow weapons are desirable for Ret Paladins because of proc effects which deal extra damage.)

The questing so far in Northrend strikes me as very modular and arc-centered. It provides some additional continuity to do the quests by following the arcs rather than simply picking up absolutely everything and trying to minimize travel time by completing quests in circuits around the zone. I think I’m going to follow this general philosophy in Northrend, actually – which means I’ll be abandoning the level guide almost entriely, only using it to check for stuff I’ve missed. This is more or less the approach I took in Zangarmarsh, which I enjoyed more than any zone in the game so far.

I’m sitting on about 300 gold right now, and I’m wondering if I can get to the 800 or so I need for a flying mount by the time I reach 70. This is after buying level 30 mounts and bag slots for various lower-level characters belonging to both myself and the Mrs, so I at least don’t have that over my head.

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