Thursday, December 4, 2008

Long Time No Post

It has been a while! Based on my previous post, I think you can guess what I've been up to though!

I've been taking it nice and easy while leveling my shaman. She had some really good rested experience accumulated while I couldn't play her, so I decided to use that as my leveling timer. When she runs out of rested experience, I switch to leveling either Miothe or Zgu for a few days, then go back to Sal.

It's a very good method for me. Miothe is my gathering alt and Sal's supplier of herbs and leather. By switching to her for a day or two, I'm able to level Salanthe's professions as I go. I thought I would end up buying the materials once I got to level cap, so this is much cheaper! I'm also trying to combat leveling burn out, so all three characters are trying different areas, with the notable exception of Dragonblight because I love that zone SO much.

In two weeks, give or take a few days, Salanthe is level 77, Miothe is level 72, and Zgu is level 71. Miyasi, my tauren death knight, is level 60, and Alsa, my dwarf death knight, is level 58 and clear of the starting area. Overall, I've been online less than during Burning Crusade when I was raiding heavily, so this is very steady and good progress considering. I'm pleased!

Now, a word on shaman talent trees. From 70 to 75, I leveled Salanthe as enhancement. I adored it. I was able to solo every non-dungeon elite I came across, except Sarathstra, whom I didn't even attempt to solo. Salanthe killed things very quickly and with very minimal effort and almost no down-time. Instancing was simple, but I always forgot to check Recount at the end of a run, so I don't know how my dps measured up, unfortunately.

When Sal hit 75, I respecced her to elemental (level 77 build). I waited until 75 because I read that elemental dps is poor until the shaman learns Lava Burst at level 75. Based on my experience thus far, I would have to agree whole-heartedly. Lava Burst hits very hard and lightning is very lack-luster in comparison.

Thus far, I'm enjoying elemental. I'm using the Flame Shock - Lava Burst - Chain Lightning - Lightning Bolt - Lightning Bolt - repeat, rotation, which seems to be working quite well. My dps in instances seems to be competitive (averaging around 1200), though I haven't run enough yet to make an accurate judgment. There is more downtime because of mana efficiency problems, but I mitigated some of that by remembering to use Thunderstorm more frequently. I am also able to solo elites like Rattlebore of the Really Big Worm quest without too much trouble, although it seems to take longer than it did as enhancement.

As of right now, I don't want to declare a preference between the two specs. Both feel solid to me and I enjoy playing them. I'd like to try them both out at 80, definitely. Maybe then I will be able to make a more precise comparison. Either way, I would definitely level as enhancement until at least 75. Wait for Lava Burst because it makes all the difference in the world.

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