Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Leveling Feral

So with moving to a new server, one of the first things I did was to get started on an alt.  I mean, I'm not going to fork out the cash to server transfer everyone off Burning Legion just so I can have the benefit of having most every useful profession available to me.  What can I say, I miss my Tailor, Alchemist, Inscriptionist, and my still-in-training Jewelcrafter, so I'm going to have to replace those sooner or later.  Plus, a guy needs something to do in between raids.  So, I cashed in some emblems for a shiny new Repurposed Lava Dredger, and popped out a Druid.

Oh boy.

I'm now 33 and alternating between speed crushing Scarlet Monastery and prowling around Nessingwary's camp in Stranglethorn.  And I gotta say, it's good to be leveling a class with a decent variety of tools again.  I haven't had this much fun questing and world PVPing since I brought up my shaman last year.  I mean, the last two toons I spent any decent amount of time leveling recently were my priest and warrior, both of whom I brought up almost exclusively through the LFG tool.  Within those instances, they were like unto tiny godlings, unleashing their terrible vengeance from Gnomeregan to the Sunken Temple.  Good thing, since questing with either of those was a gruelling exercise.

Not so with the druid.  Sure, I like the occasional instance for some quick and easy blues to speed up my leveling, but really I could do just fine with only questing if I really needed.  I gotta say I'm a bit surprised to admit that, with how haphazardly the old world quests were laid out compared to the Outlands and Northrend options.  I mean seriously, spend some time in Thousand Needles, you'll hate yourself for it.  But yeah, Stranglethorn and Tanaris I can do.  And do well, for that matter.

But that said, I do still throw the dice and use that LFG tool any time I'm due a particularly useful upgrade.  And as often as not, I'm covering for a lackluster tank or healer who thinks they can queue as arms tank or retribution heals.  I mean, I'm under no delusions that I'd be able to solo feral heal, but I at least am able to fill in the gaps on huge pulls.  It's not like I'm able to AOE DPS yet anyway, popping a HOT on the tank is just about the most useful thing I can do in those situations.

And world PVP. Oh boy, world PVP. Prowl and Nature's Grasp just make it totally unfair. Ravage, shred, rake, and rip, then bounce back out of range while nature's grasp has him rooted, instacast a healing touch, and then either finish em off with some wraths while the bleeds do their work, or pop back into cat and refresh my bleeds.  That formula has worked every time so far.

And that's really what I'm looking for in a truly enjoyable class.  A solid variety of CC and utility powers to supplement the damage or healing output.  Something to be able to deal with an overpull.  Something to tilt the world PVP in my favor.  As close to fully self-sufficient as you can get, while also able to adjust to unexpected situations on the fly.  Some classes just have utility in spades; druids and shaman seem right on the sweet spot, as are frost mages and death knights, but rogues, priests, and warlocks are just awful.  Paladins, on the other hand, package up all that utility into one simple bubble that trumps all the rest of their tools.  I mean seriously, with a tool like divine shield, why even bother with hand of freedom, cleanse, or art of war-procced flash of lights.  I'm probably the only paladin on the planet who wouldn't mind seeing it go in Cataclysm, as was hinted with the class preview.

TL;DR version - feral droods r hawt.

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