Vashj’ir and 80-81

I get maybe half an hour a day to game during the week. Not much, but it’s what I can manage. But I have been able to get some gaming in over the weekend, so by Sunday I would like to have accomplished two goals.

First, I’d like to reach level 81 on Vaktor, and maybe finish the Vashj’ir content. I am speeding through content at the lower levels, but with Vaktor I am taking my time. Also I’d like to maybe get into a random or two of one of the 80-81 dungeons, Blackrock Caverns or Throne of the Tides.

I would also like to hit level 40 on the Mage. I’m curious to see how fast it will go, considering how speedy 1-30 was. My guess is that it’ll take maybe another 6-7 hours played. At this rate, I should hit 60 in about 30-40 hours, which is really pretty fast, then maybe another 10 hours for Outland, then another 10-20 for Northrend. This would put me at 80 by about 70 hours on the outside, which is very substantially less time than it took me on my first trip. Whenever I hit 80 on a second character I’ll start the Cataclysm content in the second 80-82 zone, Mount Hyjal, which is generally less well-regarded than Vashj’ir.

I’ll be reporting on all this as I go, of course. Thus far, both the redone leveling content and the stuff in Vashj’ir has been very well-done, despite my antipathy going in for a whole zone of underwater content. The seahorse mount and underwater breathing buff help, but it’s a bit of a transition having to operate in three dimensions like that. Still, it’s been refreshing.

Another big change has been the way the Ret Paladin’s rotation works; the new talent trees changed this a great deal, with more abilities that switch to instants on a proc or build to the point where you can then trigger another ability. I do plan to swap to Prot as a secondary spec at some point fairly soon, which will also be a change – I’ve never specced Prot or even so much as tried to tank with the Pally in the past, so it’ll be interesting to see how that works. I plan on doing some research in the meantime.

Vaktor is slowly replacing gear. Right now, about half a level into Vashj’ir, I’ve only replaced a couple of pieces, one of which was a green trinket that was a huge upgrade for the blue trinket I’d had before. Every petty quest reward has not been an upgrade, which is reassurance that the Cataclysm gear reset is less jarring than those for BC or Wrath. It’s still there, though, and I’d anticipate replacing the majority of my stuff by the time I get to about 82-83. There still a lot of space in which my expectations could get upset, though.

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