This past week Vaktor began the slow climb to level 85. Well, not slow, really. Those levels are only slow in comparison to the preceding levels back in Wrath’s heyday, taking something like 50-70 quests to complete with rest XP and a 10% guild bonus. Which is a lot, but they are so linear and straightforward that the whole process is finished in a pretty short amount of time; I’d say it’s taking about 4-5 hours per level, which is pretty quick, all things considered.
I note that the zone questing achievements require you to complete virtually every quest in the zone; you can skip only a couple, and if you do you run the risk of losing out on a longish chain, of which there are a good number, many rewarding blues at the end, and absolutely none (that I’ve seen so far,) requiring a group. The vehicle quests, which by and large I hated in Wrath, are still around but much more palatable this time for reasons I’m having trouble pinning down. It’s possible my tastes have changed.
I’ve also started working up Archaeology, which looks to be a marginally interesting, if grindy, way to pass the time. Old world flight does help a lot. This, like mining and blacksmithing, is something I’ll likely get back to when I have Master Riding, which grants a +310 speed bonus. Money-wise I’m over halfway there (5,000 gold) now and am moving pretty quickly.
Level-wise, as of this writing I’m about halfway through level 83 and a nice chunk of the way through Deepholm, the second Cataclysm leveling zone. I quit when I ran utterly out of the rest XP which had lasted me all night, so when I check back in for the next push (next weekend) it wouldn’t surprise me to hit level 85 by the time I reach Uldum, which is widely said to be the best of the new zones. I haven’t set foot in any of the new dungeons yet; they’re all available at 85, so I’ll probably just wait until then.
The new spec is Protection with an eye on tanking, and it’s working fairly well. At the start of new content in Vashj’ir, when I was still in Ret, I seemed to be lacking both durability and DPS, but that appears to have cleared up; I have doubled Vaktor’s health so far, and there’s a lot of headroom yet, from what I hear. I figure it just comes down to gear, and I’ve now replaced all my shiny purple stuff now with quest greens and blues. This makes Ardwulf sad, but I’ll eventually get new stuff to replace it. I haven’t even looked at what new gear to work toward yet.