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.