Monday, December 6, 2010

Your Helpful Pre-Cataclysm Post

Cataclysm is almost here and I'm sure everyone is excited to get going and level up. A group of guildies and I plan to chain instances starting at 12am PST. I've already got my supplies to help me stay awake, and give me something to munch on. Game wise I have 25 quests completed to turn in right after the expansion turns over, I've also already discovered Blackrock Caverns and have my Hearth set to Ogrimmar for easy training.

A lot of you are probably not obsessing over this the way I am, but I thought it would be a good idea to give you some of my thoughts on how to level and some other good tips.

Leveling Talent Spec:

I plan to start with this talent spec. The first talent point I gain at level 81 will be spent on Master Shapeshifter. After that I will probably sink the final four into mana regen talents. I think most of the choices are fairly obvious but here are the highlights.

  • Mana Talents: I'm generally a fan of Mana talents while leveling. Fewer mana issues, means less down time, which means faster leveling. However, Man shouldn't be a big problem for the first few levels if you ICC gear. So I'm ignoring it first and making it a priority later.

  • Owlkin Frenzy: If you are questing your way up to 85 this is a great talent. I found that it procced quite a bit for me in beta.

  • Solar Beam: Having a ranged silence and interrupt can be a big help in 5mans and while questing.
Leveling Glyphs:

In general our glyphs are pretty bad for leveling. Five out of six of our prime glyphs depend on DoTs and the Sixth is based on a spell that hits random targets. Therefore none of them are all that helpful if you are questing to 85.

However, there are a couple of major glyphs you want to consider:

Glyph of Entangling Roots: This will be a big help in instances when you have to CC. Could also help you while questing if you have to deal with a runner.

Glyph of Thorns: This can be a big help getting you out of situations where you pull to many mobs. It will also help your tanks with threat in the instances you run.

Zone Impressions:

Mount Hyjal - Of the two starting zones I like Mount Hyjal better. It's more linier and less confusing. It has some very interesting quests along the way that aren't your standard bombing runs or vehicle quests. I don't think all of them worked, but I thought there was some nice variety in the zone.

Vashj'ir - I don't think this is a bad zone, but it's confusing. First, your questing in a 3D environment. That made it a lot tougher to find objectives. Plus it's an absolutely huge zone. Overall I just had a hard time finding stuff. To be fair though, there where a lot of bugs when I ran through it in Beta. That may cloud my judgement some.

Deepholm - Very nice zone, but it was tough. I've been told that it was nerfed after I ran through it, but don't be surprised if it's much tougher then Mount Hyjal or Vashj'ir were for you. Play it safe as you go. Try not to pull more then one mob.

Uldum - If you like Cutscenes then you are going to love Uldum. I swear every other quest had a cutscene at the end of the zone. A fairly nice zone. I thought it was a little spread out, but it had some interesting quests. Plus, if you hate gnomes you are going to love one of the Uldum quests.

General Tips:

These are some general tips I'm stealing from a guild of mine Listerine. He wrote a big long post on our forums regarding these and some others, but I will paraphrase them for you.

  1. Complete Every Instance - All of the instance quests are available as you walk into dungeon. Therefore, completing the dungeon with the quests will get you a lot of xp, and some decent items that may help you level.

  2. Equip Cloth and Feral Gear to increase your iLevel - Lets be clear, I'm not suggesting that you should use cloth or feral gear. Just equip it and take it off, if it's a higher ilevel then what you've equipped in the past.

    I know this sounds strange. The reason for this suggestion is to get access to the higher level dungeons quicker. The LFD tool will may bar your access to some instances if your gear doesn't meet a level requirement. However, when you use the LFD tool it doesn't look at the gear you have equipped. It only looks at the highest ilevel gear you have ever equipped in each slot. It doesn't matter if that item is currently equipped or not.

    To be completely honest I'm not sure if this is correct or not. I didn't test it, but it can't hurt to do it, and it may save you time later.

  3. Spend your JP Points - If you're like me you already have 4000 Justice Points. Make sure you spend them before you start doing high level dungeons. There are quite a few good items that are purchasable with Justice Points. They will help you to get into heroics quicker. Plus, once you start running the level 85 dungeons you will start to earn the Justice points again. If your justice points are already capped then you are just letting them rot.

Guide Updates:

Finally, I've posted updated versions of my Gear list and my Raiding guide. I'm sure there are issues with both because I've been rushing to get them out before the expansion. If you find problems, please feel free to send them in the comments of this post, or send them to me in an email.


Anonymous said...

Having the items in the bags (and probably even in the bank) is enough. They simply scan the highest equipable item for each slot as far as i have seen (ie a shield not giving me any increase while a cloth item gives one).
Easy to test, you can see the score increase when you get a new high level item without having to equip it.


Thelothian said...

it can be usefull if you make some clarifications about stats during levelling. I've found REALLY difficult find any gear WITHOUT mastery rating. You said that's the last stat to consider... Is it normal during levelling process or we've to avoid wearing those items?
Thank you as usual...

Siverna said...

Thx for the tips graylo :D A question though, what is a good addon to keep up with starsurge? I tried power auras but its just always up during combat. Or is there really nothing else?

Lespaul said...

It's not the greatest way of doing it but u can macro:

#showtooltip Wrath/Starfire
/castsequence Wrath/Starfire
/cast Starsurge

you'll still need a button to cast Shooting Stars procs while moving.

Anonymous said...

Just me thats annoyed with Quest rewards mainly consisting of:

a. Caster cloth
b. melee dps leather
c. melee dps or healer plate

Why put in a Leather Mastery then have hardly any useful items....


Genaro said...

Graylo, thanks for a very useful guide as always.

I think however if you follow your reasoning that questing in Uldum should be an after thought for most Moonkin.

In terms of ease of levelling and picking up the most relevant rep (and quest reward blues) I would recommend:

80-82 Mount Hyjal
82-84 Deepholm
84-85 Twightlight Highlands

You can then visit other zones later to explore and quest but you are levelling both XP and rep most efficiently...

Tibbs said...

I'm not convinced at all by the iLevel fudge advice.

By doing this you're either going to wind up with too little health (still in ICC gear) or too little damage (changing to Cata gear). Blizz put these limits in for a reason, if you sidestep them you're doing yourself, and more importantly your other group members a disservice.

It's even worse because as people figure this out they're applying it to the Heroic limit, which has a disasterous result, especially given the challenging position (not I didn't say bad, I love the challenge) healing is in at the moment.

blackstaff said...

nice blog graylo!
it seems i have 1 talent point left over after speccing out of owlkin frenzy and considering furor for the 5% mana increase over dreamstate. what is better the 15% from innervate or the 5% max mana increase?

Tibbs said...

Blackstaff - personally I'm taking the 5% mana. Running heroics at the moment my innervate is going to the healer almost every time.

It does mean I'm OOM for the last few % most fights, but at least it means everyone doesn't die, and I'm usually atop the meters anyway.

Dale said...

Thanks Graylo, very helpful guide.