So I have been doing a lot of thinking about endgame content, specifically my newfound desire to participate in it. This got me to thinking in general about the leveling process vs the end game. They are almost like two completely different games. My biggest problem, and one I think is rather prevalent in Wow is that your play style will be drastically different and what works while leveling doesnt tend to be the best way to go in endgame.
A personal example. I love leveling with melee damage dealers that can self heal. I loved my prot pally and I love my enhancement shammy. I can pull multiple mobs and bring major pain, leaving corpses at my feet and me with full health and mana. Then you get to end game. . . The elites hit hard, and one is enough to crush you. There's facing problems, bosses that cleave and cause instant death to anything around you, the hit cap, its just a mess. In short, for me, it's not fun. So while melee is the DPS of choice while leveling, for me caster is the only way to go at 80. With casters you just have to have something in an arc, and you can blast them. Also those pesky cleaves arent an issue because you're not in melee range. Yes there is still the hit cap, but that seems to be the DPS cross to bear.
It isn't just the best way to do things that seems to change either. Look at talent choices leveling vs end game. Paladins use almost a completely different spec tanking vs grinding (you want extra attacks to proc vs mobs, not bosses), the leveling staple of shadow priests (spirit tap) becomes just this side of worthless (I am contemplating a shadow priest as well, and spent a few days on shadowpriest.com reading discussion on whether or not it's worth including in an 8o spec), frost spec mage goes from awesome with a ton of tools to press the 1 key till dead. Why are things so drastically different once you reach the level cap?
I just like asking questions, obviously I don't have the answers.
I've also semi determined what I should already know: to me, the journey is more important than the end result. First, I wanted to learn about tanking. I have a couple prot pallies, I have a mid level warrior, a druid and a DK. I've tanked instances with all but the DK. I like comparing and constrasting the differences with each class. Now I'm starting to do it with healing. I pally healed about a year ago, hated it. I started recently healing on my druid, loved it, but with dual spec, I want a solid DPS spec in addition to healing ability. With that in mind I am leveling a shammy and have a priest in the wings. I have recently gotten really interested in healing mechanics, what to use when, how to talent, which stats are important. I have found a level of sophistication well beyond tanking and I like it. I don't know if I will make a great healer or even a passable one, but I like making the attempt. And even if he might not be technically as effective, my shammy looks way cooler than my druid.
I also finally got my second piece of heirloom gear this weekend. Although my shammy looks cool, he is definately rocking some interesting gear. I picked up the cloth PvE chest, I had a few reasons for doing that. I had already bought the leather melee DPS shoulders which I send to my druid, shammy, and warrior (yes, they lack a lil in armor, but the stats are good). I actually looked at the difference, and shammy loses like 1% damage mitigation by not having mail (thats on the cloth chest). I figured that will more than be made up for with other gear, and having something that most of my favorite leveling characters can use more than makes up for a little armor loss. My next purchase will be the cloth PvP shoulders because I'm sitting at 179 shards. Then I can level my lil priest as well and decide who I like best for caster DPS/healing. I can also get my lock to 65 so I can have a northrend enchanter.
I also decided I am basically done with recruit a friend. I liked it, it was fun, I don't need a level 60 hunter. No offense to any hunters out there, it's just not my thing. I also decided as much as I like the character models for alliance, and I would love to level without being molested, my friends (mostly) play horde, and playing with them outweighs the negatives. And I think my orc shammy looks really awesome, so there is that too. . .
Mid Afternoon Quickie
8 months ago