I’m a bit behind in my WoW leveling right now. While others are hitting the level cap and raid guilds are already clearing the first tier raids, my main is still at 86. I have managed to do the opening questlines on four characters, however. No worries, though. I’ll get there eventually.
Here’s my story. My wife has not had time for WoW for the past year. She checked out of Cataclysm about two years ago, after reaching 85 but before we started raiding. Mists has rekindled her desire to play, but she wanted to level with my rogue, the way we did in back vanilla and Burning Crusade.
With that in mind, on expansion day I chose to start with my shadow priest, which is actually one of my less-enjoyable alts. However, he is an herbalist and the herbs I got would be good for alchemy and inscription. I played him through the first two zones.
I then moved on to my druid. I have now played him through some of Jade Forest, and then switched over to my rogue main whenever my wife had time to play along with me. Both of those characters were about halfway to 86.
I then had to switch to my mage inscription mule to get him Honored with my guild for his inscription to count for the Working Better As a Team guild achievement. He’s a ridiculously undergeared squishy mage who has never run a single heroic, and those first MoP quests were hard! I died six times just on the first few quests!
After a week, my wife admitted that she won’t have as much time to play as she hoped. She told me to level my rogue without her. With that in mind, I expect to be working hard getting up to speed this week. I haven’t tried pet battles or farming yet. I just hit 86 with him yesterday and ran my first instances.
After all that preamble, here are my initial impressions:
- The questing is really well done. Those who blast through the quests without reading are really missing something. I am enjoying the structure and organization. Also, the zones seem really big. The questlines go on and on. I recall that in Wrath it seems like I did all of Borean Tundra in a couple of hours. In Mists, each zone is loaded with things to do. You can ignore some of the side quests and move on to the next zone, but I am taking my time and being thorough.
- The placid feel of the zones is surprisingly enjoyable. I was worried that the lack of a “bad guy” would diminish the tone of the game, but this is nice. I feel like a traveling adventurer helping people in need. In Wrath and Cata, it felt like side quests were a distraction from the ultimate goal.
- I don’t like the lack of character advancement when you level. No new talent point, no new skills to train. It makes leveling a non-event. For us old timers who remember the “Ding!” at every level back in vanilla, its a letdown.
- The instances are really short. That’s actually a bit disappointing. I enjoy when an instance tells a story. The first two that I have seen are hardly long enough to have a good storyline. I like the way that questing with Chen in the zone leads up to the Stormstout Brewery story, but I suspect that many people did the instance before they did the quests.
From a more rogue-centric point of view, I’ll say that Assassination is still fun. The legendary dagger procs are still coming frequently. My damage output is still competitive. As I move up to 90 I’ll keep a close eye on how things change. I’m especially curious to see how long it takes before I replace my legendary daggers with a green dagger drop or blue quest reward.
Also, Shadowstep is awesome.