Monday, 18 May 2009

Alt plan (for this week at least)

A couple of recent events have helped clarify for me where I'm going with my alts, although I still need to ponder my decision some more.

Adanadel, my Night Elf hunter, ran Hellfire Ramparts a week ago with what appears to be a fairly typical group these days for that level - three DKs and a druid. It was a successful run in the usual sense of the word, but not much fun. The Death Knights were ruling the damage meters by some way, and AoE tanking everything happily. I had one chance to show my worth / utility when a lose mob got through to the healer, but need more practice with the class and my setup to pull that off better in future. Later on, in to Northrend say, I hear that the starter gear advantage of Death Knights is lost, and hence by the end game my damage output may be valued. But while hunters are an excellent soloing class I'm not sure I like the damage dealer role in instances, although I'm perfectly happy with it in 2 or 3 person groups.

A discussion of Outland tanking on my guild website reinforced to me that having a tank and knowing about tanking is important to me. However my knowledge and experience are getting increasingly out of date - I can pick up either my level 72 (orc) or level 63 (undead) warrior and tank an instance quite competantly, with only the usual level of difficulties encountered when tanking for a PUG. But in reality I'm currently not as much of a tank as I like to think I am.

I've also realised there are a couple of other factors in my lengthy indecision.

Blizzard has done well to make all classes valuable and cool in some way. Hence quite often, especially when for example I read a blog devoted to a particular class, I'm tempted to play that class.

Sort of conversely, Blizzard hasn't done a very convincing job of the Horde as a faction, in the way that the Alliance does seem genuine. Partially it's because we're used to games and books where dwarfs, elves and humans group together so the Alliance is an easy win. The racial mix in the Horde doesn't really work though - you can see a group of Blood Elves, or of Forsaken, making sense, or a group of Orcs perhaps with a Troll or Tauren to make up the numbers. But the sort of eclectic mix that you see in a game doesn't really work for me, and it's at that point I consider levelling an Alliance character.

Finally, a big part of my temptation to level an alt is to have an enchanter (or at least a dis-enchanter), as enchants are my main cost these days. However, the time taken to level another character (never mind to level the enchanting skill) just doesn't stack up against the cost of enchants! Also I'm suffering slightly from a "grass is greener" thing here - I forget just how useful Herbalism is as a gathering skill - both as a money earner and a money saver - never mind that the double-duration buff that alchemy gives to flasks are another major saving while raiding. All in all I am (or should be) very satisfied with my professions choice.

So, my plan at the moment -

  • Grulnak - Orc shaman - herbalist / alchemist
  • Shank - Undead warrior - enchanter (currently miner) / blacksmith
  • Grumdril - Dwarf hunter - miner / engineer

Or I might level my Orc warrior Grulgok - the down sides to him are that, having been levelled rapidly, he has no real professions, and also I quite like the way that Shank looks in "human" armour. One of my long-term goals has always been to get him the full Imperial Plate set so that, with his Aegis of Stormwind he looks a fair bit like the Stormwind guard he was in a former life (RP backstory - perhaps a bit nerdy?). On the other hand Grulgok is bigger and beefier.

With Grumdril I'm planning to go all "gunpowder fantasy" - a Mechanostrider mount, and then engineering goggles, and later a gyrocopter and bike. In a way it's slightly crazy to level a Dwarf hunter when I already have a level 60 Night Elf one, but somehow Blizzard elves don't quite match my perceptions, whereas I can quite happily embrace the whole dwarf with gun thing.

I might also R-A-F level a Dwarf warrior along with Grumdril - in a way it seems daft not to in case I do decide to switch to Alliance.

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