Tag Archive: alts


My Tauren Priest!

The past couple of weeks, I’ve been pretty focused on leveling alts already during Cataclysm. My priest, shown here, has actually been involved in a few raids. I’ve also PUG’d Baradin Hold a couple of times on my hunter (shown below, but he’s a Tauren too).

I actually have been loving my characters, and luckily, there is a good reason to actually have multiple alts ready for raiding (and with the achievement Ready for Raiding, too): because we are a 10-man raiding guild, and having that sort of flexibility is pretty great.

The problem is, whether a player (and not just me) can fit in multiple roles and succeed in them! I think that some people level alts and expect to raid, but then can get crushed when they realize they may not play as well as they think they do as them. This is happened to me before, too, but I suppose I am fortunate in that I don’t really suck too much as any of my current alts.

I think that people should find ways to make a class, or group of classes, similar. One way that I’ve been able to do this is through my hunter and my warrior. At first, the comparisons are extremely slim— one class uses the Rage mechanic, based on hitting and getting hit. The other relies on a slowly building resource that can be filled up through crits or using a different type of castable shot.

The one way that these classes end up being similar is through the use of a dump mechanic. For Hunters, Arcane Shot seems to be the big focus dump right now (with Marksmanship possibly using Kill Command with a talent called “Resistance is Futile”, requires a mob to be running for a KC to be used for free). You use it at a certain threshold, usually when you have an excess of Focus outside of being able to use your major abilities.

The same idea can be found with Warrior DPS: Heroic Strike is a rage dump, for those times when you may have too much rage from actually hitting the boss (see: Fury Warriors), or when you use “Deadly Calm” as an Arms warrior, an ability that makes all attacks cost nothing for rage. Heroic Strike is also great when you have “Battle Trance” up as any DPS warrior, which allows you to make a special attack at no cost (as long the cost is greater than 5 rage).

Other than those two, hard to find any other ways to relate the two DPS classes. I believe every class has a way to manage a DoT of some sort… though, some are easier than others to maintain (Arms warriors have to keep up Rend, while Hunters in general can keep up Serpent Sting through Cobra Shot or Chimera Shot for Marksmanship; Shadow Priests can Mind Flay a Shadow Word: Pain up forever, but still need to re-apply Devouring Plague and Vampiric Touch… just some examples).

I would suggest the following to those who are looking to play multiple characters that may raid at any time:

  1. You still need to prioritize one character. If not for your sake, for your raid leader’s and guild master’s. It’s hard to build a raid group around two separate characters. Pick one and be done. If you are asked to play your alt for a specific role, make sure you can do it, but don’t ask to use an alt over a main. I end up DPSing on my warrior to ensure the success of the group sometimes, but that doesn’t mean I will DPS and force someone who DPSes as a main role to tank.
  2. Don’t be *that* guy. If you’re going to play multiple characters, as stated earlier, make sure you are beyond just competent. You can’t be doing so poorly in DPS or healing that you force others to have to push their expected limits. Be able to keep up with the rest of the pack.
  3. Think about the buffs and debuffs you may need for the raid. If you level an alt, see what things your guild may need when it comes to raid composition. If you bring a necessary one on your main, but not on your alt, see what you can do to compensate.
  4. Professions! It’s great to level an alt for professions. I’m always okay with this. For example, my priest is an alchemist and herbalist while my warrior is a blacksmith and miner… and my hunter, a leatherworker and skinner. Many other people in Lowered Expectations have similar ideas with their alts. Not only does leveling a profession give you more things to farm for and save gold for raids… but you can also get some fancy guild achievements!
  5. Have fun and learn! I think the best thing for me, especially as a raid leader, is that I can understand how to correct certain things with the raiders in our guild. I know how to make things better and people can ask me questions on the classes I have some knowledge on. It makes my job, their job, and the raid’s job a lot easier— bossing bosses for fun.

And below, here’s my hunter! Thanks for reading.

Hunter!

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Leveling a Priest: Good Times

I could go for pancakes right now.  AND LEVELING!

I could go for pancakes right now. AND LEVELING!

Ever level a priest?  I heard I have.  I’ve actually leveled three: my Blood Elf, a Human, and a Troll.  But why did I decide to level three priests when some people may call that borderline insane?

Because I’m insane.

I’ve also leveled two druids, two hunters, and two mages to at least 70.  I know.  I’m a bit touched.  But I love leveling more than doing dailies, surprisingly enough.

But this isn’t what this topic is about.  There are some folks who pretty much rather die than level a priest.  So let’s see if we can make this easier to fathom for those who cannot stand to have a clothy capable of mass destruction… except in raids (cough).

  • Pick a talent build to go with.

It sounds weird, but Shadow isn’t necessarily the best way to level.  I’ve done it that way and also through a combination of Discipline/Holy + Spirit Tap.  Now, Spirit Tap is a talent that at maxed pointage will give you a 100% chance to make your mana regenerate at a 83% rate.  This means less downtime (the time spent drinking for manaz).

No matter what, you need this talent before you hit any other tree.

For Shadow, it’s arguable you can either drop 2 into Darkness or into Imp. Spirit Tap.  I prefer Darkness because at lower levels, you need to crit with your Mind Blast to proc the 10% spirit and 33% mana regen while casting.  If you tailor your way of killing to make sure you end with a MB, that’s fine.  Darkness, however, is a flat Shadow damage increase which may be better off.

For a Disc/Holy build, grab Holy Specialization after Spirit Tap.  The Discipline tree offers nice things but way deeper, and we’re looking to pick up Surge of Light.  Obviously, there are some talents you don’t necessarily need for leveling (Spell Warding, Blessed Recovery, maybe even Inspiration, Improved Healing, Healing Prayers).  But this isn’t for healing, this is to kill things and make it happen fast!  You can do some healing, just don’t expect miracles… you’re grabbing key healing talents for Holy though.

We don’t like Discipline at the start because when it just comes to the talents, Holy is actually a better DPS tree (but not for raids).  After you hit 40 and have filled out Surge of Light you need to get to Mental Strength, Focused Power, and Enlightenment.  Try not to grab any unnecessarily talents… Silent Resolve, Martyrdom, and Absolution to name a few.  Reflective Shield is nice but makes for a strange talent tree, so that can be skipped.

While I love to provide actual leveling builds, you can find a lot of them on the internets.  In reality, you should look to level in any way you want, and you should play around with what you can handle the best.

  • Whale is Pro!

If you don’t have heirlooms at your disposal… well, you’re probably going to be hurting for some gear.  Tailoring provides some nice spell power items and you should go this route regardless because at level 80, you get a few cloak enchants that are pretty hot.

If you don’t want to level a profession… you’re doing it wrong, but okay.  Look for Whale gear.

I know I’m hearing folks screaming…

OH MY GOD WHALE IS GREEN TEXT FOR NOOBS AND HOLY CRAP WHY DO YOU WANT SPIRIT AND STAMINA THAT’S FOR MORONS AND WHY ARE YOU TELLING ME THIS I WAS TOLD WHALE IS LIKE THE WORST RIGHT NEXT TO BOAR AND WOLF AND SPIRIT AND SKDFJSLDKFJSLDKFJLDS

WRONG.

For priests, these are budget items that help us kill faster or get some spell power out of it.  If you have Spiritual Guidance, you get 25% of your spirit as spell power.  That’s awesome.  Even if you’re not high enough to have that, Spirit does increase your Spirit Tap’s regen.  Stamina is also good for living— something that you need more as a clothy than anything else, even though you can heal.

  • Holy Nova can be your friend.

We get the coolest AoE as a priest.  It not only heals us, but it does damage… and causes no threat (very fun when running friends through low level instances when you Fade after pulling half of the zone and oh god they wonder why they’re dead).  Watch out though as it does cost a hefty amount of mana and you may not be able to kill everything… but it can save you in a pinch if you’re getting low on health and need to try to spam things to death.

  • Play Smart.  Play S-Mart.

So you want to level fast?  That’s fine.  Don’t die though.  It makes us all look bad.

Seriously, if you want to do it, you need to decide a few ways you can do it without exploding.  My personal favorite as either spec is a SW: P multiple targets, pick one to Devouring Plague, then work on the rest.  I’d get a nice wand as well and try to keep that upgraded to the most damage you can get, and use that and keep yourself alive with heals.

You can also try to Holy Nova spam (reminder in the above bullet).  But Shadow doesn’t get a viable AoE until… well, Mind Sear (level 75).

  • You can heal as either spec, I promise.

A spec for a priest doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t heal.  And this pisses me off.  A shadow priest at low levels can heal instances just fine. Being shadow doesn’t mean all of your healing buttons have fallen off the planet.  It just means you will probably need to play it safe with mana and just make sure you drink when you need it.

Now, you may not know how to heal.  But that is how you learn!

For holy/discipline hybrid levelers, you have no excuse.

On a side note, this applies to early DKs as well.  Frost Presence means you can tank.  Just because you don’t have some talents doesn’t keep you from tanking effectively… just means you don’t have a lot of nice things that really, really, really helps.  But then again, we do have Dual Specialization for a reason!

Also last night, we did Vezax hard on 10 man.  Suffice to say, the 25-man version would probably be a chopfuck.

See you later!

Summer Brings Alts!

I know other folks are leveling alts, so I might as well throw out what I’ve been spending my time on for the past few days…

I'm not the wyvern.

I'm not the wyvern.

Meet Vulpix, the Blood Elf paladin.  I have two of the Swift Hand of Justice.  I also have the Bloodied Arcanite Reaper and my Polished Spaulders of Valor!  And I’m leveling Retribution.

The one thing I enjoy about playing a paladin, especially after level 40, is when I pick up the talent Judgements of the Wise, which causes Judgement spells to give a 33/66/100% chance to grant 25% maximum mana return and to throw out Replenishment.  This talent makes downtime almost negligible.

Other than that, we did Hodir and Thorim 10-man hard modes last night and I got my two Sigils!  Hopefully this coming week will bring more hard mode completion to our guild.

I’ll be going on vacation in a week, and I will be with contributor Valdarion and best friend Muji (both of them officers) and my family, SO.  Good times will be had.

Whee!