things get murky around L74 onwards

starting northrend

the starting path in northrend is clear: do a bit of HF and run UK, pop over to BT and do all the coldarra quests so that when you run Nexus, you can finish up all the chain quests. then its back to HF for the ka’luak quests in kamagua and scalawag point. and you’d be around L72/73. what next?

continuing northrend

if you followed on from kamagua, you’d be in moa’ki harbor (dragonblight). and now you have a whole set of options. you can pop over to star’s rest. or take a bird to wintergarde keep, or fly over to wyrmrest temple (do the quests there for wyrmrest rep). you can even fly into grizzly hills (amberpine lodge) and work on quests there.

for me, if i have a gatherer toon, i’d queue LFG and farm mats (they level your gathering skill as well as give xp). if not, i prefer to either tank or heal in a dungeon. but if i am playing a non-gatherer dps toon, then i would prefer to do rep related questing. so it would be wyrmrest temple for me.

using dalaran as base

at the same time, i would start to base all my toons in dalaran. even when there are no more portals to azeroth main cities. that’s not an issue, since i have a mage (Zappel and Rhoanin) on either account to port everyone back if they need to go back for class training.

why dalaran?

there are simple quests for cooking and fishing which give xp and awards. while i detest fishing and only have 1 toon specialise in it, i do cooking for all toons. dalaran is where the cooking quest npc is.

besides, dalaran is now closer to a lot of quest zones.

LFG instances

AN – Anzul-Nerub, in the Pit of Narjun

OK – Old Kingdom, same pit, slightly higher level instance than AN

VH – Violet Hold, in Dalaran

what next?

once they get to L75, they will all take the Violet Hold (VH) quest and key  in dalaran. and try and queue for it via LFG. in addition, they will most likely start to farm in Sholazar Basin (SB). as for questing, it will most likely be in Zul’drak (ZD) since there are some quests for the instance Gun’Drak (GD) there.

around L76/77, it will be time to visit Storm Peaks, and do the Sons of Hodir rep chain for shoulder enchants.

update 5th May 2010:

Persi is now L75 so i checked out the Violet Hold quest giver. the quest and key are gone. times, they are a changin’.

i was also surprised when flask of mojo and flask of big mojo are now grey/useless items (as of patch 4.1). some other stuff were also made redundant. and additional recipes for cooking can now be bought from the cooking trainer, instead of having to find the recipe vendor in god-knows-where-land.

levelling in northrend (howling fjord) and coldarra (borean tundra)

HF is good to level from 68-70/71. then it’s time to move to grizzly hills (GH).

although i’ve levelled many alts in both BT and HF, i still prefer HF.

in the past, before LFG instance porting, it was important to be in HF and queue for the UK dungeon, cos you need to run to the summoning stone in the keep to summon the rest of the party. now, it’s just the levelling progress in HF is more structured.

of course, when you first hit L68 and head into northrend from outlands, the first place you gotta go is BT to get trained on cold weather flying. then fly over to HF to start on the levelling.

Note: fly fly fly

  • flying is faster than riding a land mount is faster than running on foot.
  • flying avoids ground mobs you dont need to kill and only slow you down if you engage them
  • flying gives you a further and wider view, useful when spotting mobs you need to kill for quest.

UK instance quests:

pick them up from the npc outside the keep

  • Disarmament – pick up 5 vrykul weapons that are found all over the dungeon
  • Into Utgarde! – kill the end boss and loot his head

Nexus (BT) instance quests:

unfortunately, they are mostly the end of chain quests which originate in coldarra (nexus island). so as part of your levelling process, you may want to skip over to BT to do ALL the quests in coldarra, and then pop into nexus to complete the following quests:

  • Have They No Shame – this is the only non-chain quest. picked up from npc near the FP for coldarra in the Transitus Shield. along the path to the 1st boss, just kill the first mini boss (not considered a nexus instance boss except when you do it in heroic mode) and there is a book nearby. pick it up.
  • Postponing the Inevitable – after killing the 2nd boss, run the north most edge of the boss platform and activate the interdimensional refabricator (which you should have got from the chain quest)
  • Quickening – along the frozen zone leading the the 3rd boss, get your party to kill crystalline protectors, in order to loot 5 arcane splinters (a body can continue 1 or 2 splinters)
  • Prisoner of War – kill the end boss

by the time you finished HF and BT, you would be L71 or 72 and ready for the next zones (grizzly hills or dragonblight)

northrend again

finally got an alt high enuf to revisit northrend, i first landed incorrigible, my L68 prot pally in BT (Borean Tundra). well, i did that cos he was based in Stormwind (SW) and they have a boat to BT.

big mistake. that was never my fave starter zone for levelling in northrend. just couldnt get the enthusiasm up. after paying for northrend cold weather flying and then checking out a few FPs and doing some starter quests in the vicinity of the alliance base, i flew east to valgarde in HF (Howling Fjord).

some funny happened along the way. i flew across northrend, then down to HF. as i was approaching HF, i got distracted and then left him to continue to fly off the radar. by the time i got back, he was in serious difficulties and couldnt fly back to safety. died from flying fatigue! ROFL! he rezzed somewhere in Westfall! dunno if that is a bug or what! anyway, i hearthed him back to SW and then flew him to Ironforge (IF) and set his base there. then i flew him over to Menethil Harbor and took the other boat to northrend, the one that stops at Valgarde, HF.

HF is where it’s at, boys! did the starter quests, then flew over to the HF Utgarde Keep (UK) instance, and picked up the 2 quests from the NPC outside it.  i had hit L69 shortly before, so i queued for LFG and see what i would get. yup, almost immediately, i got a LFG for tanking UK!

i was kinda distracted, and so was the healer, but we made it to the first boss and actually didnt wipe a few times along the way. even though we didnt follow strat on the first boss (stack so that consec etc will break ice tomb and oso keep the adds away from the healer)

however, the first mob up the stairs wiped us. how? i have no idea, but wipe we did. after that, a dps left and a rogue popped in. good thing, cos he helped sap for the next 4-man mob on the stairs. i probably didnt have enough gear for northrend dungeon cos i had just popped into the first dungeon without northrend gear although i had quite a bit of BoA stuff. we didnt wipe after that, and went on to clear the end boss with EASE (although i think 1 guy died. how? i have no idea, since i was doing the correct tanking style for the end boss – dont move, take the dmg from the phase 1 smash and the harder phase 2 dark smash) when tank dont move, melee dps wont run the risk of getting hit by the boss, but i think the flying axe done him in. i had to move when the flying axe got too close. twice.

and after turning the quests for the run as well as some additional utgarde catacombs, incorrigible dinged L70! and now has some northrend gear too. so next time can try the other instance in BT – Nexus.

now to rest him for a bit while i get the others to play catch up.

important update 8th april 2011:

ok. i found out the hard way. took Persi (L68 lock) to HF first, only to find out, there is NO FLYING TRAINER IN VALGARDE (HF)

so you should still go to BT first, and get the cold weather flying training, then fly over to HF, or stick with BT to level up. i just prefer HF for now. maybe after 2 toons, i might just do BT cos of the boredom of repetition.

moodykat – 1 day later

moodykat2

got the belt, but different one. turns out Everstone can make epic tanking belt! so i got the Indestructible Plate Girdle for the same set of mats. he can make the belt of the titans for Dethnyte, who is gonna be blood dps specced. which i guess we will reverse come cat. or maybe another respec. haha.

Disowned oso made the epic tanking ring, Titanium Earthguard Ring. so juggling a bit of gemming here and there, i got the def to 535 and put the rest in stam and parry. dodge i seem to have a lot. i guess it comes from strength stat.

this time, i ran H again, but with more confidence. since after self buffs i am already 25k. with party buffs, it can go up to about 28k. it was UK, and i told the group i was new. however, someone pulled another mob to me at the start, and we wiped. as a result, the healer left and we had to queue for another. this time round, the healer was pro and we made it thru to the end very quickly. in fact, i didnt even get 1 dark smash at the end boss. er, it helped that i had a GS 5k dps warrior who basically WW mobs to death in 1 sec. as a result, i had to wait for my DND CDs. otherwise i would loose aggro almost immediately.

my next H was GD. and that was with a pro heals too. so we did that nice and fast too.

i picked up a lot of gear upgrades. so after today’s 24hr maintenance, i should be able to see what else i can switch around in terms of gear. and with a couple more runs, i might be able to get another L232 tier tanking gear.

but i couldnt have made it so quickly without the help of all my alts (from gathering mats to making the gear, gems, enchants and glyphs)

LFG – Utgarde Keep

having run a few UK instances (H and non) yesterday, i noticed a few things.

H runs

if you have a well geared tank, 2 things:

  1. they tend to chain pull mobs for quick aoe kills, assuming the healer can keep the tank up. i had a run where the healer (approx GS 3k) just couldnt heal up the tank in a mass attack and we all wiped. after that, the tank took it easier. healers should know their limits and advise accordingly. it’s not nice to tell ppl you cant do it after the wipe.
  2. the other problem of chain pulling is the non-stop fights. they are mana intensive. this is more a problem for healers. for dps, if they are flat, then there is no choice but to stop and drink and let the rest carry on without you. hunters have an easier option: switch to viper and carry on until mana tops up again.

if you have an aoe tank, like pally, then for the first boss fight, the whole party should stack on tank, cos he will basically consecrate on the boss, and anyone who gets ice tombed will find themselves free very quickly from the pally’s aoe.  in fact, for pally tanks, there are some fights in instances which can benefit from stacking on tank, esp those that ice tomb or web (AN)

non-H runs

in H runs, end boss fight is usually a tank and spank event. the tank takes the smashes and dark smashes and the healer is expected to heal thru it (without any off healer).  in non-H runs, some healers are just not that pro or well equipped. if the tank refuse to run, then sometimes, the group wipes when they could have cleared it at first go. worse, some tanks dont know how to run. they have never tanked the boss any other way! last night i ran a UK that wiped twice at the end boss just cos the tank didnt run from the dark smashes. we finally beat the boss on the 3rd go cos we got the ret pally to off heal (lol) and i think the tank did try to run from the dark smashes.

general tips

by now, all groups only clear the 2 mobs out of 3 in the starting circle, then run into the drake room. in the past, it made sense to clear all 3 mobs, so that when your party wipes, you can run thru faster. now it is rare for a party to wipe, non-H included.

the drake zone is one of the trickiest. as some groups have found out, you can skip the drakes that are on the R, as well as the solo drakes on the L. just clear the pair of drake and handler on the L centre lane, and then go for the trio at the end of the room. however, this means there is a whole bunch of drakes you can accidentally land on, if you get knockback by the drakes you do engage, when your positioning is poor. tank has to position himself so that melee dps should be directly behind the boss, and then both him and the melee dps have a safe zone to get knockback. most of the aggros are poor positioning by the melee dps or poor positioning by the tank so that the pets are blown onto other mobs.

the mobs leading up to the first set of stairs should all be cleared as they are too close to the stairs and easy to aggro by pet, even if the owner sticks to the side of the stairs.

2nd boss fight has now been standardised. kill castor boss first then melee boss. then any adds that spawn in H. melee boss has to be tanked. shadow resistance from pally or priest is most welcome.

the mob at the 2nd set of stairs is far enough so that mob can be skipped by impatient H groups.

what is a weekend without raids? lots of altoholic fun!

ran my various alts thru various LFG stuff. i was a bit cool so i didnt up and leave any LFG just cos they were sucky. there was only 1 case when i had to leave. VH. tank left group after the 1st wave (i was dps)

there were some sucky groups, such as group wipes at UK 2nd and end bosses. during the runs, there was a boastful L74 mage, tops dps meters, but dies a lot too. the tank was a half-geared DK, so i used my bear to help off tank. the funny thing was, at the end boss fight, we all died, and then the boss died to dots. the mage left but the tank, heals and i ran back to loot the boss. the shammy heals got his quest done and also a nice shammy BoP loot.

i also managed to get my L80 rogue carried thru a few H LFGs and picked up a lot of epic iL200 gear from them. so now i am a bit confused. do i want to gear him up or not? cos i only meant for him to be the locksmith on Firetree. but it was pretty fun to play him. FoK (and glyphed, no less)! he is now about 1/3 in epics and has a bit of EoTs.

spent a bit of time on Kiseki and Pyroblast, running them thru multiple LFG HF dungeons to get HH rep. Kiseki is now honoured, but Pyro has a long way to go still. but since both rested xp is used up, i will put them on hold for a week. also worked on their ench and inscription profs. i took xbowstrike on a flying trip around outlands and picked up herbs for both of them. Kiseki uses nightmare vine to make superior spell potions to level ench. Pyro uses outland herbs to level inscription.

also working on Fruit’s LW reprof. he is now almost at the outlands LW level. so i will probably have to get a skinner there to do the work – could be using my L80 rogue, or send a low level 70 toon to skin the highest level mobs there. maybe can still get some xp from killing those mobs?

since i had been the grateful recipient of many LFG runs this past weekend on my multiple dps toons, i will be mostly tanking and healing this week – pay it forward!

PS: still advising ppl about rankwatch and dual spec. i think i should write a macro for it. haha. no. really.

lowbie toon world movements – completed

kiseki the lock has dinged L58 via a LFG-DM East run and has gone to outlands.

mib the rogue has dinged L69 and completed his first LFG-WOTLK and completed his UK quests and got his first EoTs.

to get to 69, i did some HF quests while waiting for 2 LFG-SH (queue time per run, 30 min). the 1st run had a few wipes, but we finished it.  the 2nd run was incomplete. the UK run was perfect and i was the worst dps (even lower than tank – everyone’s gear was way better than mine).

1st run: tank was new to instance but willing to learn. so i told tank to grab controllers and prophets first. the wipes were mostly accidental. one was due to bad serpent pull which aggroed a mob with a prophet. then we couldnt kill the end boss cos the heals didnt know the fight and died too fast. he left and we got another heals. unfortunately, we still couldnt down the boss due to some bad timings. but we ran it one more time, and this time we downed the boss with tons of health to spare.

2nd run: the tank boasted that he could handle multiple mobs in SH. i was kinda disbelieving him. well, he pulled 2 mobs. but that was lucky cos i already targeted the first mob Time-Lost Controller and took him out before his Charming (Mind Control) totem came out. but too bad the 2nd mob’s TLC dropped the totem and i had to go chop it down quickly. so no wipe. then the tank went and did it again. but this time i wasnt ready, and it wiped the group when i got charmed. i was the top dps in the party even though my gear score wasnt that great (no BoA items) cos i had already started doing HF quests and was equipped with iLvl138 green sword and dagger. when i got out of the totem, i vanished. so i didnt die. but the party broke up after that. so i left it too. anyway i dinged L69 so i didnt have to run SH anymore.

lowbie toon world movements

pyroblast

good thing he is a scribe. i made the Glyph of Eternal Water so that he now has a permanent combat pet on call.

he ran one LFG DM East and dinged. now he is in the Outlands, and starting on his HH rep quests.

now to level my L57 lock and do the same thing…

muzzleshot

having completed SH quest run and all of the nesingwary quests in Nagrand, he went over to Howling Fjord at L68. before long, he dinged 69 and ran his first WOTLK dungeon – UK. and got his quests done, plus started his collection of EoTs.

mib

same with Mib, except he just arrived in HF and havent started on any quests and not yet 59 to qualify for LFG-WOTLK. instead, i got him working on his profession. LW up to 404, and made the WOTLK starter gear for both himself (Arctic set) and Muzzleshot (Frostscale set) from mats carried over by Xbowstrike and various mats acquired by Xbow and Gorlog over time.