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First impressions of Cataclysm

December 8, 2010

Yesterday I learned something: The best laid schemes of trees and kitties go often askew.

Despite all the planning, the reading, and the time spent preparing for Cataclysm, when the moment came and I logged in I was just as lost as the rest of the server.  I found myself hearthing back to Stormwind after less than an hour because I’d forgotten to train my professions on the way out.  I got lost in new zones already.  I died to a mob bouncing me off a cliff.  The list goes on.

Despite that, I could not have enjoyed myself more.  Throwing my plan out the window after I hit level 81, I decided I would just do whatever I wanted.  Here’s what I learned along the way:

  • I am a Bad Quester.  Despite wanting to know the lore, I’m often guilty of skimming the quests on the first character I take through an area because I’m in a rush.  I get confused about where I’m going, what item I need to use on which mob, and just generally get distracted by all shiny things.
  • Normal dungeons (at least Blackrock Caverns and Throne of the Tides) are really not that much of a challenge.  I ran through those two last night with a guild group and we managed it with only one wipe and no other deaths.  We experimented with CC initially, having all heard that we would need it, and quickly found that our tank wasn’t taking nearly enough damage to worry about it.
  • You DO, however, need to know how boss mechanics work again.  Depending on gear level, there are some dungeon bosses who can be facerolled, but most require a least a minuscule amount of finesse.
  • The quests in Hyjal are amazing.  If I ever get into RPing my druid again, she’ll be spending all her time at Aviana’s shrine.
  • Leveling enchanting is a PitA when most of the things I can do to skill up require an iLv 300 item.  I don’t have any iLv 300 items.  I haven’t even seen them.  I recognize they’re coming, but that doesn’t help much from 80-83.
  • Leveling goes much faster than I thought.  I hit 81 after maybe an hour.  From what I’ve heard from guildies, though, once you hit 83 it slows down to a crawl.
  • Getting experience through questing is much more efficient than running dungeons.  We ran Caverns once and Throne twice and I think I got about 60% of a level from all that.  If you’re looking to level quickly, don’t do endless random groups (even if you’re a tank who gets an instaqueue – healers had 13+ minute waits on my battlegroup).
  • The worgen self-mount hyperspeed running animation is terrifying.  I mean “I’ll have nightmares about this” kind of terrifying.  My guess is that when I create my worgen mage later this week, I’ll probably make sure she’s exalted with Darnassus as quickly as possible.

And now that the coffee is made it’s back to the grind for me.  Happy hunting to all you stragglers who haven’t reached 85 just yet.

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