My priest is now about halfway to level 79. I imagine she could hit 80 in the next couple evenings of play, assuming I don’t mess around too much. I’d hoped I’d reach the level cap by next year, but I never thought I would do it in the first week of December. I guess I do play a lot…
Perhaps the most amazing part is how many zones she has not completed yet. I mentioned before that she finished up the Fjord, and since then, she’s polished off almost all of the Borean Tundra and most of Dragonblight. She’s done a couple of the sharable dungeon quests here and there, but most of the other zones remain completely untouched. Wowie… there’s going to be a lot of gold out there when she hits 80. The same thing happened with my hunter when she hit 70, but I never took advantage of it since I wanted to raid instead of quest. This time, I’ll definitely be questing. This is in part because of all that gold (to make up for the epic flying skill just bought), but also, some of the quest lines have been amazingly good in Wrath. Back in BC, I don’t think I ever heard a person say, “Oh, you HAVE to go do this quest line in Shadowmoon Valley. Do eet!” I hear this on a nightly basis about Northrend quests (and I’m lucky if there’s not a spoiler to go along with it, but that’s another blog post).
So, how’d she get so far with just a few zones completed? Not rested xp — that’s for sure. Instead, I have been running loads of instances. Thanks to all the pugs I’ve been running with, I’ve connected with a handful of really good tanks for whom I am now their go-to healer. Seems like every time I log in, I get a tell from one of them: “Oh good, you’re on! Would you like to come heal Violet Hold?” Hell yeah. I’m sure there will come a day when I’m tired of this, but for now, I’m basking in it. I’m a little disappointed when someone asks me to heal Utgarde or the Nexus for them since they’re pretty far below my level now and I’ve run them both dozens of times, but I usually go anyway. I can get shards from disenchanted stuff (not to mention those new shards we get if Horde controls Wintergrasp), plus the instances are so short. It’s not like someone saying, “plz come hael WC, kk?” and you dread it because you know it will take five hours. With a level appropriate tank, you can get out of most instances in less than an hour. It’s awesome.
There have been some frustrating pugs, of course. I have seen the usual loot issues (particularly on some of those very nice blue BoE’s), but my biggest frustration has been the overconfidence that some groups come in with. I got an invite to run Violet Hold, for example, from a tank that was level 73. The instance is level 75-77, but with enough DPS, I thought we might get through it. I joined to find that the rest of the group consisted of a 71 mage, a 73 hunter, and a 75 DK. Eesh. I immediately suggested we might have better luck in a lower level instance, but the tank insisted and the DK backed him up: “No, VH is easy.” Well, if you can actually -hit- the mobs. It went the way you’d guess: the tank couldn’t hold aggro and the DPS couldn’t get the mobs from one portal down before the next portal opened. After repeated wipes, the DK dropped from the group. The tank suggested we look for a replacement, but I called it. The mage admitted that only 50% of her shots were actually hitting the mobs.
Some of the pugs have been great, however, especially if I’m running with one of my new favorite tanks. Often I’m the lone pugger on their guild run, which makes me hopeful that I’ll continue to run with them as we all get into heroics. For these groups, I always ask them to keep me in mind if they ever need a healer. I always used to do this, but the cool thing now is that people are taking me up on it and I’m online often enough as my priest to take advantage of it. When I walk through Dalaran, training or dealing with dailies, I’m also amazed at how many names I recognize and how many people wave hello as I go by. (I keep notes on everyone I pug with via the addon AuldLangSyne, so I can just mouseover their names, too, and see what instances I ran with them.) I’m feeling like a real part of the realm community. This makes me want to keep playing this character, instead of leveling an alt.
So, this is what it’s like to have a main… 🙂