Monday, September 29, 2008

Leaving the experince bar behind with a bang.

With a little help from several guildies I'd spent several play sessions this last week grinding down that elusive experience bar. Last weekend I got involved in a couple of kills on the Brewfest boss in BRD. No drops of note and I got lots of snide remarks since I was level 68 vs the rest of the team of geared level 70's. Thanks ever so much Bliz, your changes to Brewfest this year really suck.

I returned to Nagrand and completed a bunch of quests leaving mostly the group quests only, then grouped up with guild members and ex-guildies to complete them. Durn the Hungerer hits very hard and smashed through a hunter "tank" and myself without trouble. I came back again later with a pally and we 3-manned him fairly easily. The same group finished off Tusker on the way past, neatly finishing off the Nessingwary series. Somewhere amongst this I dinged 69.

My pally friend and I continued on to Shadowmoon Valley, where I had never been before. He died attempting the stupid jump-a-tron quest in Nagrand on the way past. I picked up a flightpoint in Terrokar and the ones in SMV.

Our friend Uvuros bit the dust easily before we headed over to Black Temple.

Here I was treated to the most awesome display of AOE grinding I've seen. My friend is a 70 pally, in post-kara HEALING gear. He would run in and gather up 10-15 of the level 67-70 humanoid mobs that are on both sides of the entryway to Black temple and then AOE them to death. I was picking up around 500 exp per kill. That is around 7k exp per pull for me at level 69. Lucky my bags were almost empty! We also managed to pull several of the elite dragonkin while doing this; they went down almost as easily as the lower mobs! We would average 2 pulls per side before we would go catch the respawns on the other ramp. Once we got greedy and pulled about 30 mobs at once, but they managed to break his tank. I lasted, oh, half a nanosecond once he was down! The piles of corpses after each pull were amazing.

Doomwalker rained on our parade somewhat. Our accidental deaths earlier had applied a debuff that meant if we got close to doomwalker, his aura of death would instantly kill us. We kept out of range to continue grinding. I had gained almost 50% of level 69 just hanging on my pally friend's coat-tails before he got an invite to a raid and left me to my own amusements. I believe this was the fastest session of levelling I have had since before level 20!

After returning to Nagrand to hand in quests I was about 80% of the way through to level 70. I flew to Blades Edge Mountains and rode over the bridge into Area 52 and Netherstorm. A little bit of grinding and the completion of a handful of quests saw my experince bar creep up to within 4,000 points of levelling. Apparently my guild had plans to celebrate with me as I hit 70, so I hearthed to Shattrath to wait.

By Sunday afternoon I'd been playing alts for a while. Someone talked me into a runthrough of SM and since I needed lots of silk for my alts I agreed. I logged in to Crypt again and headed to Undercity. I got there just in time to help defend against a fairly large Allied raid. They had initial success in invading the bank and auction house areas before meeting fairly stiff resistance. The main group of allies got bogged down here near the auctioneers but some other groups broke off and ran riot through parts of UC's shopping areas. PvP madness ensued, and this time I survived well enough to inflict a bunch of kills. A mage and priest got caught in an alcove near the sewers entrance. Both fell to my blade flurry attack. A warrior got knifed in the back while busy fighting the lag monster and a druid engaged in a game of cat and mouse that ended up with another kitty corpse in the sewers.

Stragglers were still hiding out in various locations around UC even 20 minutes after the main raid was over. Several more scalps were added to my collection. PVP is a lot more fun when you don't die almost instantly!

After all that fun I took my guildmate for a quick run through SM-Cath and then SM-Lib. I farmed up a lot of silk for my alts and my guildmate got some new gear, though got growled at for rolling need on cloth gear he didn't actually need.

Later, after a break for dinner,I returned to the game. I took Cryptography to Org to bank and auction some stuff and do the Brewfest quests one last time. I arrived in time to "fight" the Dark Iron dwarves and then completed both the barrel race and barking quests while drunk. The Dark Iron invaders came back for some more while I was checking out the vendors, so I got completely smashed again fighting them off. It was then that I made possibly the biggest mistake of my whole adventuring career.

While "completely smashed", I went to the nearest quest giver to hand in for my brewfest tokens reward. However, I went to the wrong questgiver and actually ended up handing in Corens Dire Brew instead. Sure, I got a hefty sampling of tokens for this, but I also got some 15,000 exp.... which, if you've actually read this great wall of text, you will notice had the immediate effect of giving Crypt a nice golden glow and a chiming gong sound effect. Yes folks, after 38 days, 11 hours, 28 minutes and about 15 seconds, Cryptography made it to level 70. Hooray! I'm sure he had a good time of it, but he was too drunk to remember and couldn't see clearly enough to take a screenshot. He's also disappointed many guildmates who were organising some sort of special event. It wont be quite the same any more.

What does a newly minted level 70 do?

Smart ones probably start to do something about their crappy gear. Crypt is in quest greens for the most part. A few items might even be pre-outland actually. He's not set foot inside any of the outland instances nor a battleground since level 19. Decent quality items need gems and enchants. I have no decent gear, hence no need (yet) for either of these.

No, I've done nothing about the gear.

Smart level 70's grind out the last bits of their trade skills. As a skinner, Crypt had an easy time maximising that particular trade skill. First aid was also maximised very early on in Outlands. Fishing, cooking and leatherwork have languished behind since about level 45 or so. I do intend to max them all out, but am in no particular hurry to do so.

No, I havent improved any of my trade skills.

Smart level 70's start down various instance attunement quests, or faction grinds. Crypt has casually worked on Thrallmar and Mag'har rep while levelling up. Hes also dabbled with the Consortium and Cenarion Expedition. Progress for most of these now requires instance runs, which he hasn't yet done.

Nope, not done much here either.

Other smart level 70's go get their flying mount. My army of bank alts have been working hard on this for months. They gathered their resources and mailed a chunk of change over to Crypt, who accepted the Shatt flightmaster's quest and flew to Shadowmoon Village. Once I found the flight trainer and mount vendor I had the hard decisions to make: Do I shell out for just basic flyer at 800g + 100g mount, or go full out and pay the extra 5000g + 200g mount for the epic flyer, especially as patch day and wrath release are possibly going to reduce these costs?


Continuing the long tradition of blowing money on fast mounts and loose women, Cryptography bought out the whole damn dealership.

800g for artisan riding skill (basic flyer)
5000g for master riding skill (epic flyer) (or is it the other way round? )

100g for tawny windrider
100g for green windrider
100g for blue windrider

200g for Swift Purple windrider
200g for Swift Red windrider
200g for Swift Green windrider
200g for Swift Yellow windrider.

Yes, that's 6900 gold. Every single copper of it is worth it though. Flying is AWESOME.

I now have 10 bag slots dedicated to mounts. Roll on patch day and the new way of handling mounts! I have three different random mount selection macros for Crypt. One for the epic riding mounts, one for the basic flyers and the other for the shiny new epic flyers.

After flying round for a bit, my friend and I made a start on the Netherwing quest chain. The first few steps were pretty easy and we both got up to the group quest to kill Zuluhed the wacked. We tried for a while to get a group going but to no avail. Then my pally friend showed up, and another rogue in our guild wanted a go at it. Pally supertank, 2 rogues and a holy priest downed that sucker twice (since one party member didn't have the quest!), then a bit later we downed him again for a mage in an allied guild.

Crypto is now flying around as a stealthed Fel Orc, poisoning peons and stealing netherwing eggs at every opportunity. Looks like I will be on a grind of daily quests for reputation for some time. Netherwing eggs seem to be fairly rare, or perhaps just over farmed, so they will not provide a massive shortcut for reputation gains. While doing these quests, I have assisted several other guildies to get started. Most of them don't have the epic flight skill yet so get stuck just after killing Zuluhed.

I also plan on starting the Shattari skyguard grind, and more cenarion expedition grinding, for their epic mounts as well as the dragon. I will very likely buy all the different varieties - I collect mounts!

On the way I'll look at getting some decent gear but am not looking to spend too much on that since more greens in Wrath will likely be sufficient... and if not, a few extra levels then back into the dungeons should make it even easier.


KC said...

Hey, grats on 70! Guess this means I need to fly back out to that orphanage in Nagrand and get the coords, huh?

I think you're probably right as far as gearing goes. While my guildies are saying that gear in Northrend is more of a side-grade than an upgrade on BC epics, it's still just as good. I say do whatever you want to have fun, and leave it at that, because it's going to be a whole new world in six weeks anyway.

Cryptography said...

I've logged in on Crypt maybe 3 times since I wrote that. I've done a few of the dailies but not enough to really progress on the rep grind. I've also made a start on the skettis quests for a flying fish mount eventually too.
Since I have a bunch of Mag'har rep already I could go back and farm the ogres in Nagrand as well. Eventually of course I'll do cenarion rep for their hippogryph mount. PVP mounts and normal faction mounts also need some grinding as well. I have plenty to keep myself occupied!

Cryptography said...

And as a belated update:

Well into Wrath, I've finally finished the netherwing rep grind. I now own all 6 of the available netherwing drakes, choosing the Azure drake as my quest reward. I have also levelled primarily in outland, getting very close to the loremaster of outland achievement.

Some work has been done on shat'ari skyguard reputation and I will continue doing the dailies as I fly past.

After completing the outland loremaster, I think i will return to azeroth and do lots of low level quests for the loremaster and ambassador achievements there as well, all before I reach max level. Very likely I will need only one more northrend zone to ding level 80. This is a very slow way to level though!