Something strange is happening with Squidly.
He started out with all the best intentions.
- Level normally
- Explore Azeroth
- Soak up all the quests and instances
But I have just realized that this will never be.
Why so dear Squid?
Well there are lots of factors that mean I am hop, skip and jumping all sorts of content.
My Generous Predecessor
Let’s start with the obvious.
Gnomeaggedon has forsaken upgrades to equip the squid with the latest in Gnomish leveling technology.
Those heirloom items seem quite innocent at first. They allow you to complete the quests and explore Azeroth with ease.
They also allow you to skip 20% of the content you would endure at each level. Doesn’t seem like much up front, but it all adds up on the XP bar and subtracts from the quest log.
I was joking with my favorite tank of the moment that I was doing my 3 quests for the Hellfire Peninsula.
Tank asks: Why only 3 quests?
Squid replies: Well, currently it feels like I only need to do 3 quests and it’s time to change zones.
This is a slight exaggeration of course, but it’s not that far from the truth. I do a little research, identify the best items, then just cherry pick those quests or instances.
Sometimes I am forced to do prerequisite quests, but I am leaving a trail of unacknowledged quests behind me.
It probably doesn’t help that I have BiS items in 5 slots thanks to the heirlooms. That’s less time I need to spend anywhere.
End Game Instances and Raids
More to the point mid-game or old end game instances.
There was a time when you had to grind BRD for the experience and gear. Now you just hit 68, port to Outland and you have gear and experience(s) that leave the old world raids and instances in the dust.
Right now Squidly is staring level 64 in the eyes.
Time to prepare for the heroic Outland instances I think to myself…
Once again, less than 12 months ago, I needed to consider my gear progression carefully. I wanted the best gear from quests and instances so I could tackle those heroics for badges to open the doors to Kara.
Now, I am focused on what I can pick up by 67 or 68 so I can jump on a boat and sail to Northrend.
Funny, as I was really looking forward to pitting my Shaman skills against the Outland heroic bosses… But now that I can sniff the sea, even from Outland, the yearning to set sail has struck.
Lack of Achievement
The Achievement frenzy that took hold of Gnomeaggedon’s soul just isn’t present in Squidly.
Oh yeah I still love it when they pop up and I’m not afraid to share them with you, but I don’t care about clearing the Azeroth instances, I’m not concerned about ticking off the heroic achievements in Outland.
I just can’t wait for the secret door before the Outland boss’ room that will take me away to lend my totems to the war against the Scourge.
Epic Mounts & Flying Mounts
Talk about skipping content.
Why fight your way to your destination when you can just ride real fast, or better yet fly to your end goal.
In fact I would happily compare the change in leveling speed to that you experience when you 1st upgrade to an epic land mount, or to an epic flying mount.
Faster… Hell yeah!
Too much Talent
I think one of the changes that makes it so much easier to skip content is the access to the whole talent tree.
I’m using talents that only became available to potential level 80’s and I have been since before I was 60.
I realized I was grinding out level 63 elites and level 65 quests with relative ease… Then I realized I hadn’t trained up new skills since I turned 60.
I was 3 levels behind in new skills and still slaughtering 5 mobs at a time!
Not only that, but due to Blizzards dual spec toolbar bug, I wasn’t even using max rank spells. For example, my Chain Lightning, bread-and-butter-Elemental-Shaman-bomb, was 2 levels behind what I could cast.
Did it matter?
Nope, all the points in my improved blow-the-face-off-the-enemy talents were making up for any forgotten ranks of spells.
Maybe Northrend will provide the challenge.
Maybe, just maybe, Northrend will be a little more interesting, a little bit more challenging on Squidly.
Gnomeaggedon one or two shot nearly everything on his trek through Northrend. He didn’t replace a piece of gear until around level 77.
Squidly on the other hand will be entering Northrend with gear up to level 63, maybe he will pick up a couple more items here or there, but he is going to walk off the boat with gear designed for mid-Outland, not starting Northrend.
Maybe the game really does start at the end
I have never been in this position before, but now I understand why everyone deserts Azeroth.
It’s not just that they are level 80 and working from Dalaran.
It’s that no matter how hard you try, Blizzard doesn’t want you in Azeroth (yet), they want you in the Fjords.
Make money running a WoWguild?
OK, completely off topic, but I was just reading this post (The Cost of Being a Goon) over at Outland Bound.
It’s worth a read if you jaw hasn’t dropped yet today!
Makes me want to start an exclusive guild…
Gnomer and Out, Squidly and Stout!
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