Home > Cataclysm, Elemental, Expansions, Resto, Shaman > Cataclysm: The First Week

Cataclysm: The First Week

A week ago, mayhem ensued as Cataclysm officially kicked off stateside. I happened to log on that morning before heading to work to do the cooking and fishing dailies in Orgrimmar and for kicks and giggles I opened my guild pane only to see 23 people online…at 6:45AM. We weren’t seeing that many people online in our guild unless it was raid time; usually it would be 8-10 people on when there wasn’t a raid going. I purchased Cata via the online upgrade, and having let the download run overnight, I was able to log in that morning without a hitch. Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised by such.

That evening, I logged on and my priest friend and I headed to Hyjal. We managed to complete all the quests in the zone that evening in a span of 4 hours, despite the insane amount of people crawling all over the zone doing the same quests. Some quests were more painful than others. The “homage to Joust” quest line, bear chucking quest and the finale with Ragnaros are the highlights of the zone, though.

Afterwards came Deepholm, and with it I replaced every single piece of gear I had from ICC. It may seem odd to some, but I had no problem replacing some of those former BiS ICC epics with greens and occasional blues. I did keep my armor pieces, though, in the event I feel nostalgic and want to toss on my T10 (not to mention it looked pretty good). There’s a reasonable cohesiveness to all the quests in the zone, in that they all piece together the shard(s) used to restore the World Pillar or whatever it’s called in the Temple of Earth so that Azeroth doesn’t turn into a black hole and collapse upon itself or some nonsense. Some of the dailies here are annoying, such as the Pebble rescue, while some are infuriating, aka Glop, Son of Glop, which requires you to speak to the NPC shaman AND kill Glop. Sounds easy, but it takes the NPC a good 10-15 minutes to reset, and if you are in a group and one person talks to her, only that person gets credit. Even more infuriating is that there is an achievement attached to the quest (do it 10 times); I am hoping that some changes will be made to this quest, such as to retrieve an item that Glop would drop on the ground that is lootable by everyone in vicinity for a minute. Also, Deepholm has to be one of the most aesthetically pleasing cavern/underground areas ever since we first flew down into the Caverns of Time (which is still the crown jewel of “really cool cave/underground areas”).

Next came Uldum. The Harrison Jones questline is fairly entertaining (perhaps moreso for Indiana Jones fanboys/girls), but I can only see watching all those cinematics once; ie any alts I level at this point I would hit escape for all of that stuff. The Gnomebliteration quest is up there with the bear chucking quest in Hyjal as the most hilarious/entertaining quest of Cataclysm thus far.

Hit 85 while working over quests in Twilight Highlands, which for Horde players starts off with a pretty fun quest sequence that has you flying in on airship as part of an aerial assault fleet, only to arrive at Dragonmaw Port to lead a mutiny within the ranks of the Dragonmaw Clan, which leads to them assisting the Horde in the battles against the Twilight’s Hammer.

During the weekend I went back to Vashj’ir and wrapped up Loremaster of Cataclysm by clearing that zone, and the atmosphere of the quest line there is pretty neat with the whole “oh shiz we’re screwed” theme that persists through most of the quest line. The final quest line that leads to the Throne of Tides is also rather entertaining, as you run across the ocean floor amidst a huge ongoing battle.

That’s the 80-85 zones in a nutshell, and I’m very certain I’m forgetting a LOT of details there. So on to how things are at 85…it’s the same, yet different. Despite the fact I retained about the same amount of rating for haste/crit/mastery, it’s very noticable that it takes a truckload more rating to attain similar numbers to what we had in ICC gear at 80; numbers that I don’t believe we’ll ever see again. Currently I’m in mostly ilvl 346 gear, with a couple of 333s, and I’m hovering right over 10% haste, 18% crit, and 25% mastery; far cry from the obscene amounts of that I had at 80 (37% haste, 36% crit, 39% mastery), yet dps has gone up a fair amount due to gaining almost 3k spellpower (from just over 3700 with Flametongue on at 80 to right at 6600 now). Not sure how elemental fares compared to other classes/specs, but I think we will be fine come raiding time.

The economy is a shit storm, to say the least, and a major part of that is how during WotLK many of us went with 2 crafting professions, dropping whatever gathering profession we had at the time to gain an advantage when it comes to character performance. I’m guilty of such, for I dropped skinning to pick up engineering. Yesterday I dropped leatherworking to pick up mining in order to recoup some of the 20k gold I spent leveling engineering to 525 and to craft my goggles. It was a painful decision to make, being that the leatherworking-exclusive bracer emboss/enchant is heads and shoulders more powerful than anything an enchanter can provide for bracers. However, being broke as all hell is every bit as painful, and I never EVER want to have to endure this again. Yes, I’ve heard the “use your alts” argument, but I don’t really care to have my main handicapped to the degree he requires the aid of alts with gathering professions just so he is as raid ready as possible. Couple that with the fact that I don’t care to bother with alts at this time nor in the foreseeable future, and that cemented the deal for me. The combo of skinning + leatherworking may be a higher dps combination, but the utility provided by engineering is too invaluable to me. Unless Jeeves and MOLL-E start having a chance to fail when used, I don’t see me dropping engineering any time soon. There is a slim possibility that I may drop mining and level jewelcrafting, but I don’t know if I’ll want to put up with the headache involved or not. Only time will tell.

I’ve dabbled with Archaeology a little as I flew around power leveling mining (1-400 in 2-3 hours of mining isn’t too shabby, btw) and it looks to be even more painful to level than fishing. I didn’t think that such a thing would be possible, but it wouldn’t be the first time I was wrong. The sad thing is I had to google on how exactly surveying worked because no where did I find an indication in game as to how it was supposed to work. It’ll make for a decent time sink, one which I’ll never level on another character barring a main switch, which at this point hell freezing over would be a better bet, heh.

The main draw currently at 85 is heroics…and boy, oh boy, heroics are back to being heroic for a change. Gone are the days of WotLK, and many of us are rejoicing at such, despite the amazing leap in difficulty heroics are over their regular counterparts (and over any WotLK heroics, for that matter). The new healing model + current heroics make for a brutal time, to be honest, and I say this with experience because I’ve spent the majority of my time in heroics as resto, since all of 2-3 of our main spec healers have hit 85 so far (I was the third healing-capable person to hit 85 in our guild iirc). Right now you can’t have enough spirit for mana regen; I’m sitting right under 2400 in combat regen and I’ll go OOM easily if I’m bad with heal selection. Healing Rain, despite it’s obscene mana cost, is an amazing addition to our healing arsenal, and couple with chain heal we’re able to do some massive aoe healing. I don’t see how some bosses are doable without said HR + CH (Rahj in heroic Halls of Origination comes to mind). Despite the at-times frustrating difficulty of some of the heroics, as a whole I find that they are a much needed breath of fresh air, and I honestly hope they are not nerfed, for I think they are all doable currently.

Sunday evening our guild rounded up 10 folks and we gave some of the new raids a try. The Baradin Hold boss (Argaloth, I think?) is basically Brutallus, Round 2; we downed him despite 2 dps being dead and both myself and our druid healer both being OOM at the end. After that we moved over to Blackwing Descent…and the pain began. The trash in raids is no different than that in heroics in that it WILL kick your ass if you are not careful. Aside from that, Magmaw is effin’ brutal; in fact all videos and posts I’ve found seem to indicate the only way that he’s been beaten is due to a bug that lets you hop back on him immediately after he’s out of a pinned down phase. Anecdotal evidence is anecdotal, however, and guilds have downed it already, so I could very well be wrong. Oh, and we were also batshit crazy for trying to 2 heal the fight, heh. A few tries at Omnitron Council (or whatever they’re called) has me believing that it’ll be the first boss encounter we manage to down. We managed to get them to 67ish percent on 2 attempts, and I think given time that fight should become easy to manage.

It’s almost lunch time at this point, and I am hungry, so that’s all on Cata Week 1 for now, but there will be more to come as time goes on.

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