Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ding! Level 90 Hunter

The opening bell rang and we were off on a new adventure.  The adventure to waste our time leveling to get back to max level where the real game begins.  But wait, whats this?  Leveling felt like an adventure?  There was a real sense of peril?  There was a real sense of exploration?  This is not something I am use to folks.  Leveling that first time through was fun and for someone like myself that loves to level it was a very welcome addition to the game.

I am not exactly sure how fun it will be on my characters that follow the lead but I can tell you one thing for sure, having to travel by ground was a fantastic idea to make people feel like they are actually part of the environment again.

From the not-so rare rares out in the world, solo killed 19 of the 21 I came across while leveling, two others I tried for a few times and decided to come back later, to the hovering packs of mobs everywhere to the return of the runners, leveling seemed more like it was meant to be part of the game and not just a means to an end.  Kudos to blizzard for bringing back the joy of questing.  Having a connected continent again really helped a lot as well for the feel of a whole new world and there is nothing anyone could say bad about that.

There is one thing I do worry about however.  There were many points it was not easy.  Mobs took a while to die, it was not three shots and dead and even if I loved it I can see a fair deal of players having issues with it.  There were more times than I can count where I was working on a pack of three and another pack of three joined and then one more snuck up from behind.  Hey, I am a hunter, MD the three and trap the one with an over the shoulder trap before he can smack me in the back of the head and lay the smack down on those baddies.  Thing is, not everyone is a hunter and many of the hunters aren't even good at it.  I can see a fair deal of players having issues with it.

I worry about some of my characters.  My lock for instance, without a suitable pet like my hunter that can tank like a champ I can not go around mowing down packs with that sort of efficiency.  Or my mage, I doubt there is any way I would be able to deal with fights that lasted that long in such a condensed area where I can't kite or I would have even more mobs on me.  Or my poor priest that has never seen the outside of the light, how can she level as disc?  Will it even be possible?

Good questions but also goes to show you that leveling is not some joke this expansion like it was in the last.  I never worried about anything last expansion.  I even landed on a rare mob with my shaman in healing spec and healing gear and beat it in cataclysm.  I do not see me even thinking of doing something like that with the 21 rares I have encountered so far.  Even the few super easy ones I ran across would destroy my shaman in that case.

The launch was smooth, the launch was fun, and it took me twice as long as I expected it would to level to 90 and four times longer than it would have on beta.  Good call on making it take longer blizzard.  It will give people more chances to see the beauty of the world and it is beautiful.

Mists has just started and it is already well up on cataclysm.  Even venturing through the dread wastes I felt it was more menacing than anything deathwing ever threw at us.  Could the game finally be giving us a story again?  A feeling of immersion again?  A feeling of fullness?  Only time can tell but I just hit 90 yesterday and I have a lot of exploring to do.  Not to mention two rares to seek out revenge on when I get better gear or work up an effective strat for them.  Word to the wise, if you are not a hunter, get a friend to help on many of these.  If you are a hunter and have any issues you need to practice your hunter stuff, you will need tanq often, and spec slienceing shot for sure, all your tools that make you a great class will be used.  Also, hunter note, DO NOT use stampede as a DPS boost, use it defensively.  They taunt and if your pet tank goes down calling them and casting  FD will give you more than ample time to get your tank back up.  See, just because I killed 19 while leveling, most in the high levels, doesn't mean it was a push over, you needed to use your toolbox and hunters have the biggest one in the game.  Too bad all they drop is the occasional bag of goodies and BoP items that 17 of the 19 were useless and the two that were for me were the same thing.  I did get two cool toys from them however.  So give them a shot if you want, but I would caution against it for most classes and most people, at least not until you are 90.  I spent nearly as much time rare hunting as I did leveling it felt like, and I loved every minute of it.  It made me feel like a... hunter.

Welcome to mists, this isn't cataclysm any more, thank god.


  1. Level 90 already? I must be slow. I've just dinged 87 and am probably about halfway through Valley of the Four Winds. Probably going slower as I'm doing loremaster as I go. So yeah only halfway through the second zone and spent hours questing today. They really have packed the zones full.

    I've taken on four rares so far as a ret paladin solo and none of them killed me. It was close a couple of times. The first rare I pulled I was expecting it to be a tank and spank, just like the cata levelling ones were. They dropped a boe and a nice chunk of xp. This was nothing like that. I had to kite, interrupt, use cd's - it was fantastic! The first one dropped a bop that was a nice upgrade for me. The next three didn't drop anything useful but were also fun fights.

    I started up my farm and I've done a few pet battles. The only annoyance with pet battles is the quests are only available on one character, they don't intelligently swap or be shared. So I started them on my pally which I've now parked in Pandaria to level. Which means if I decide to take a break from levelling and do pet battles on my druid I can't go fight the tamers to progress.

    Anyway, did you get realm first 90? or realm first hunter? You said in your cata overview that you would have had realm first hunter easily if blizz hadn't made you seasick, so I wondered.

    The realm first 90 on my realm went to a warrior Tuesday morning. Pretty insane though how people manage stuff, the professions ones were popping just an hour or two after launch.

    Anyway Mists gets a big thumbs up from me. In fact my biggest problem so far has been settling on what to do. There's just so many options right now, my to do list is huge.

    1. The high level ones were giving my over 300K exp. It was fun. There was one that at low life would cast a heal to heal himself to full that you had to interrupt, but he did it twice in a row so you needed two. Hunter toolbox FTW. First time he got it off because I did not know it, second time I got him low I interrupted and noticed he did it twice, third time I interrupted, readiness, interrupted again and he was toast. Took a long time having to basically kill him three times but it was exciting to have the challenge. I fight all of them not knowing what they do and try to adjust and learn on the fly.

      There are a few that are death on melee and a few that are death on ranged. Watch out of the melee ones. You might not noticed it but they will put something at your feet and you will be dead in 2 seconds, took my pet tank out a few times.

      There is even more to do at 90, at least until you start finishing things off.

      It has been fun so far.

  2. No need to worry about your warlock, few bars away from 90 myself and things have only gotten hairy once or twice, mostly when I skipping zones early and didn't get the end of area quest blues. With the changes to threat and the talent that buffs all your pets your voidwalker can really take a beating with only the occasional Heath Funnel.

    Oh and there's now better feeling than patiently waiting while others die to a rare spawn then make them watch while the voidwalker shows them how it's done.

    1. This might sound stupid but being I do not play a lock much I think it is a good question. Does afflic have health funnel any more? I looked in my spell book and it is on and I had it bound to C and it is no longer there.

      I have it in both other specs but can not find it for afflic.

      I love doing that too, so many times people have come up and seen me fighting and waiting for me to die and I just do what it is hunters do, I kill things, and they all walked away pissed. Hey, they could have helped, they choose to stand there and watch, so it is their own fault they get upset. Never bet against a hunter that knows how to play his class when it comes to soloing anything.

  3. Allfiction def still has HF, that's what I've been leveling as, also you shoOTC ote that using soulburn then HF will instantly grant you pet 36% HP and decrease damage taken by 30% for a time. Also make sure not to use the minor glyph of HF if your affliction because it does not stack with soulburn + HF.

    1. Maybe I am just blind, I could swear I could not find it after the patch. I'll have to look again but leveling him is low on my list of things to get done.

  4. Congrats on 90! Me, I am still 85. Can't get out of the starting area, but then maybe I am one of those "not so good" hunters since teh patch came out. Oh well, good hunting to ya!

    1. Glyph of misdirect, tank pet, turn off thunderstomp so you do not get more than you want. Kill like mad, keep mend pet running.

      Happy hunting and good luck.

    2. Thanks TGF! Your advice is working wonders. I have my rogue up to 86.5 and me hunter to 86.75 :D Not really pushing to gain, but I have 3/4's of the continent explored, including the horde areas. (by accident, I must say). And whats really nice is I am getting gear that is suited to me, either leather lots of agi or mail with lots of agi. I do have 1 question - Do I really need to worry right now about the 7.5% hot, expertist, etc or only worry about it at lvl 90 going into dungeons and raids? Thanks a bunch. And sadly, no, I have not read any more of your site. Mea Culpa.

    3. Do not worry about hit or expertise until you are at 90. You will be changing gear so often while leveling it is not worth the effort to reforge every time you get a new one. Just have some fun leveling and worry about stats later.

      I've discovered my fair share of horde areas by accident too. One of those... RUN!!!! moments. lol

      As long as you are having fun it is all that matters. Hunters are the best leveling class in the game and as someone that has them all I can say they are also the most fun to do the leveling process with, next up would be any class in a tank spec, druids and DKs on top of those.

  5. Nice to see mr MacGrumpy pants being not so grumpy :P , glad you are enjoying mists as much as I am.
    And you are right about other classes having trouble with closely packed mobs. I main a rogue and things got hairy when I pulled 3-4 mobs when intending to pull 1,always had vanish ready for that.Also as you go into dread wastes you will see ppl running around with 1/2 health bar , stopping to drink/heal up , which was an improvement over cata leveling.

    Also one gripe I have is , they moved the ring of blood equivalent quest chain to a scenario, which is open to only level 90 . All the earlier quest chains were under the level cap and the goodies/exp from those quests really helped while leveling.

    1. I agree, moving something everyone used for gearing up and huge experience boost to a level 90 only thing was not a great idea in my opinion either but it should be okay there is enough to do otherwise to level people.

      Those miss pulls can kill being things take longer to die. I've so often ended up with 20 mobs on my pet. I can handle it no problem in most cases as long as the mobs do not get behind my pet but no other class has that benefit. You get 20 mobs you are dead. Not even a DK can handle that and they are usually masters of stuff like that.

      I've seen more bones on the ground in leveling areas than I have ever seen when not on a PvP server and that is kind of cool. It is nice seeing people need to actually learn they have other skills that are not just attack, attack, attack.

      Seeing all those hunters die because they can't seem to figure out what misdirection is, a trap is, a silence is, a tranq shot is, etc, is especially pleasing to me.

  6. Leveling has gone pretty well for me so far. I'm only about half way to 88 but just like Taitrina, I'm trying to finish the zones before moving on to the next one so that I can get the full story. I'm also stopping to gather herbs and I've had to work late which cuts into my play time.

    I've come across a few rares and I've killed each without much trouble. I died to an add for one but I still got him down (Fish guy with Elite crabs). My Ferocity pet died twice during that encounter so I had to try and kite the elite crab afterward and ended up aggroing something else and dying. I think that's been my only death so far.

    I haven't needed to use my other skills much. MD and FD is about it. No bandages. A couple old healing pots. Only stopped to eat food to taste things for the achievs.

    On another note, water strider water-walking is awesome! Lots of water in pandaria that you can shortcut across.

    1. I killed that guy too. Only ended up pulling one crab and it was a long fight. My pet kept dying too but that is when I used my stampede trick and would bring him back. The ones that can think on the fly can do most of them without research. They are all similar to things we have seen a million times.

      I've used mine on a few occasions, there are some spots you need him, but now that I an fly he is going to the "mostly retired" section of the stable.

  7. Congrats on 90. I was hoping to see a post from you about the experience.

    I was one of those fools who stayed up and played from launch. I had to work 3 hours after launch but was able to keep playing at the same time.

    Took me 12 hours on a frost mage with mixed gear coming in to ding 86. I haven't played a lot after that as it was just a long hard struggle to get that much done and IRL is just killing lately.

    I love the farming. I just wish the dailies would have started pre90. I'd level half my toons with it.

    The zones are beautiful in my opinion. I prefer V4W so far, but have only seen 3 zones as i'm still 86.

    I am on a very horde dominated server as an ally and i've had decent luck in not much ganking so far. Seems many (not all) are just as interested in leveling as I am.

    I flat out hated Cata when i came back to the game and saw it. Glad to see this one is going to be better.

    1. Sucking knowing there is a new toy to play with but not having the time to play it, but look at the bright side, your characters will have rested experience now when they do quest.

      Farming is fun and a little weird too. Like water the crops looks like you are taking a wizz on them. I am having a little fun with it, just had that there are now more things to carry in my bad because of it and they did not really up our bag count much.

      Pet battles are evil however. I started playing and looked up and three hours had passed. Not sure how the time passed but they wanted to create something to pass the time, this is it.

      You are lucky that they are leaving you be mostly but like you said, they are probably more concerned about getting to max level first, then they will come back for you. :P

      This is leaps and bounds better than cataclysm, no doubt.

  8. Grats on level 90, although i do think it's very fast.

    I just dinged 86, but that's deliberate. I've decided to take it real slow this time and really enjoy all the content MOP has to offer. Afterall, it will be here for some time hehe.

    There's farms? Where? How? Why did i miss that?

    1. Farms are in the second area you will go to about middle of the zone. You will need to finish a lot of farm related quests before you start your own farming.

      It took a hell of a lot longer than cataclysm leveling did. In the same time it took me to level my hunter to 90 I could have leveled 2 characters to 85 on catas release. It was much more balanced this time around questing wise.

  9. I agree, it's fun again to quest, level and to experience a whole new area. The whole enjoy life and relax theme in Pan even with the madness going on is something perhaps Blizzard wanted to instill back in the game; not vanilla nor LK/Cata and perhaps somewhere in between.

    As a lvl 88 hunter, it's fun sharpen up my kiting skills, trapping, MDing while leveling and being on a PVP realm.

    So far 2 rares for me and both times, I've solo them and got cloth blues and some nice "stuff' from the blue bag.

    1. It must be so much harder on a PvP server, I don't even what to think of what it would be like.

      Congrats on the kills. I kept getting plate. No hunter love in this game I tell you. lol

  10. I agree, the quests so far have been entertaining. I've not even finished the first zone yet and I'm already half way through 86. Sure it's the first character in MoP, and I'm sure when you start to get alts through things will get 'boring' again, but I can't help but feel a bit different this time. And it's mostly because MoP is its own continent.

    That and the fact you are forced to ride around on a round mount. Makes things soooo much more interesting. Kinda feels like vanilla wow again.

    I'm playing my Warrior (fury) atm, and I have no problems what so ever with the mobs. Usually take on 3 or 4 at the same time.

    The only 'disappointing' thing for me is the dungeons so far. They are sooo easy :/ what gibs? Bootyfull made, but so easy ...

    1. The on its own continent is a huge part of what makes it feel better, even when you start to fly.

      I am the same with my guardian druid, I am pulling 8 or more at the same time, but it is still in the forest, not sure if I can do that once I get to higher stuff.

      Easy? Yes. Easy with randoms? No. They are still a little complex for a large portion of the player base. I am glad it looks like they are attempting to teach people while leveling now.

  11. Surviving all those roaming packs as a mage has been a challenge. But with Ice Ward, Frost Nova, Cone of Cold and Ice Barrier (I'm arcane, wierd huh?) you learn to manage. I had to switch up some talents to help. And a few times I've had to approach high density areas more cautiously than I remember having to do in a long time.

    I also like how they have so many adventuring supply vendors around letting me upgrade everything to 372 off the bat if I need it. My newly dinged 85 druid was very appreciative.

    1. Those vendors are a great idea. It is about time they added something for future characters that come through and not made it for people that were in raid gear already.

      I get spoiled by my hunter, I think doing my mage will be harder because I am spoiled that way. If I can one pull however I should be fine, like you said.