Friday, November 27, 2009

What Would You Think if I Sang Out of Tune?

Lately, I've fallen into the experience of leveling alts. I've been spending a lot of time not playing Luthvian. First, it was leveling up my death knight with my boyfriend's shaman. Then, to see what all the fuss was about, I leveled a druid, figuring that I'd play with it until I got bored. I figured it would last a week or so, then I'd go back to my mage. The problem (but is it one, really?) is that I never did get bored. As I was creating the druid, and complaining that I always abandoned my Night Elf characters when I got sick of their starting zone (too much distance to cover), someone made the radical suggestion that I shuck the NE zone and head straight to one I did like. So, Siuan the Night Elf Druid headed to Azuremyst Isle, and thus overcame the first hurdle in her leveling.

From the beginning, this was a different experience. I started Luthvian because my then-roommates played Alliance on Stormreaver, and one of them played a mage and it looked like he had fun. I got power leveled through lowbie instances, run through quests. I don't remember much of my leveling experience with Luth - it just never seemed important at the time. I don't remember what strategy I used for talenting - I just remember that it wasn't very well-thought out.

On my druid, I actually researched talent trees and gear upgrades and whatnot. I leveled as Feral, which is a completely different playstyle than anything I'd done before. There was so much new and interesting with my druid, it became my new favourite character to play. I was logging on to Luthvian only for raids, maybe for some dailies. The leveling process on my druid didn't feel like a long grind to 80. I had fun working for the little things. I was so excited when I finally got Kitteh form that I pranced around and danced all over town when I first got it. I did the actual quest to get swim form (I didn't even train it beforehand), and at level 70 I did the whole quest chain for Swift Flight Form, even though waiting to finish it stalled my leveling for a few weeks.

Now, I'm leveling a priest. She's a Troll. Once the faction restrictions on PVP servers were lifted, my guild formed a Horde counterpart, Descended. I figured I'd make a character, maybe a class I'd never really played much, and let her sit a while. I named her Lewthveean, because I thought it was funny.

I've attempted priests before. I think I've started... 4? maybe 5 priests. None have gone beyond level 25, and most never made it to level 10. It was never something that really held my interest. There was a lot of dying, a lot of running on no mana. I just figured it was too much work. This one got to level 5 on the first day, then sat in Sen'Jin Village for a while.

Xelaeno was a guildie in my first guild back on Stormreaver. She writes the blog Holy Fire Spec, and two weeks ago she posted a level 1-80 leveling guide - as smite. I never liked the Shadow playstyle - sure, shadowform sounds fun, but you have to wait until level 40, and Shadow sucks before then. So I decided to give her guide a test run.

All of a sudden, leveling was fun again. Sure, the mana issues were still there, but thanks to a gold-related deal with a friend
(and a pair of lucrative gathering professions) I could afford to buy a good wand off the AH. I carried two full stacks of water with me, and went to town.

I haven't logged on to Luthvian for anything more than checking the mail since the day I went smite on this priest. My priest is level 30 and still climbing. Since I'm having too much fun to leave her parked in Inns for any period of time, she rarely has rested experience. As such, I have a lot longer to enjoy the scenery:

Yes, her raptor matches her hair.

I'm also becoming addicted to healing instances. Last night, I found myself in a group of players that vastly out-leveled me (I was 28, they were 35, 36, and 40) who needed a healer for Scarlet Monastery. We plowed through Library, Armory and Cath (where I learned that the mobs are all ?? skulls and I have a huge aggro radius) with not a single wipe. Not one. When we finished, I was so proud of how well I had healed.

That feeling, of being proud of an instance run, I never had that on Luthvian. She never prevented wipes by getting a critical bubble off just in time, or saving the warlock when he pulled aggro (I know, I know, un-Mage-ly of me). She never got sought out to join instance runs (I know that's just because I'm a healer, but still). I feel important, I feel wanted and appreciated. It's different playing a vital role in a group. I like that feeling, and I wish I could have had it while I was leveling my mage.

I think this is the root cause of my sporadic posting lately. I'm burned out on my mage, and I'm burned out on the current tier of raiding. I've been reluctant to post about anything else because this is, by design and name, a mage blog. So what do I do, now that my mage is no longer my focus?

We'll see.

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