shaman


It’s clear that Blizzard loves me because the four talent previews they released today happen to be the only four classes I really care about: priest, shaman, druid, and even one for my poor abandoned rogue! Sweet!

A more detailed post about the Priest talent trees will be forthcoming, but I was just so darned excited about this news, I had to post a little something. Seriously, I cannot wait to play with these.

Play with the talent trees at Wowhead, or head to WoW.com for a talent rundown.

As I posted last week, I’ve been pretty focused lately on getting Ginnger up to 80.

I’m not a person who has typically had a lot of alts. I mean, I do have alts, but they tend to be lower level alts that I rolled when I was bored. I just goof around on them for a while, then I tend to abandon them around level 20 or so, though a couple made it to the early 40s.

Sindei was one of those alts, languishing at level 24 for ages. Once I picked her back up and got her to 80, she became my new main. I like Ginnger plenty, but have no plans to abandon Sindei. I enjoy shaman healing, but I find that my priest just has more tools and I still love healing with her. Maybe I’m at the point where I just have two mains.

That said, Sindei does see considerably less action these days. She’s already well-geared, but Ginnger has jewelcrafting dailies, rep to grind, and gear to gather. Ginnger’s dailies have taken priority: if I can only do one thing a day online, it’s the jewelcrafting daily. If I have time to run a random, it’s on Ginnger first. Of course, most days I have time to do a lot more than a couple of dailies, but I usually try to do those things first, just in case. Even Sindei’s daily randoms–which I used to log in for religiously — have taken a lower priority. For one thing, I am getting Emblems of Frost from ICC, so I don’t have to rely on just the daily. Besides, she has the T10 2-piece bonus and I’m n0t in such a rush to drop the T9 2-piece bonus, since I like it better than the T10 4-piece.

I love raiding on Sindei, and I love having the haste and the throughput to handle difficult healing situations (usually). But I’m also having a great time running heroics on Ginnger. Not only does Ginnger still need gear, she’s made heroics fun again. I thought I was sick of running heroics. It turns out I was just sick of sleeping through heroics on Sindei. So while I still think of Sindei as my main, and I’ll keep playing and raiding with her, it’s fun to be gearing up a second main. And I should think two mains would be plenty.

Though I did just buy the leather caster heirlooms and an heirloom staff for my level 43 druid….

I haven’t posted this week because I have been focused on one thing, and one thing only:

Eight days, 16 hours, 10 minutes, and 37 seconds.

(By the way, that guild chat comment has nothing to do with me leveling!)

When last we left our heroes, Sindei had helped to conquer Yogg-Saron, and Ginnger was level 70 and had gone back in Azeroth to level mining and jewelcrafting.

Our raid team is progressing nicely through ICC. We had a little trouble with Saurfang at the end of the Lower Spire, maybe  because we were three-healing the encounter to be safe. As soon as we tried two-healing it, we won the dps race and got Saurfang down. On Friday night we spent some time in the Plague Wing. Festergut didn’t give us too much trouble, but just to be a jerk, he dropped druid healing gear on a night when our druid healer was uncharacteristically absent. Rotface, on the other hand, proved a little more of a problem. I look forward to three-healing that encounter next week, because I think a third healer would help us out on it.There’s an awful lot of damage flying around in there!

In the meantime, to break things up, our team likes to do an off-night activity every other week. I took a poll of our team, and despite my efforts to institute bi-weekly Celestial Steed Parades through Dalaran, it seems everyone else wants to work on Trial of the Grand Champion instead. So we’ll take a swing at that on Tuesday.

After a lot of mining and a lot of spending gold at the Auction House, Ginnger’s mining and jewelcrafting are both leveled up to a reasonable skill for her level. Mining is at 440-ish and jewelcrafting at 430 or so. So at least she can mine where she’s leveling and get the JC daily done every day. I try to get her daily random dungeon done every day, though if push comes to shove, Sindei’s takes precedence. I got Ginnger to 74 last night, so she’ll be questing in Zul’Drak for a little while.

And I don’t want to forget about Children’s Week! Sindei wasn’t my main at this time last year, so she hadn’t done any of this achievement. I grabbed her a couple of orphans from Orgrimmar and Shattrath — sadly, the Dalaran quest seems to be bugged for anyone who did it when it was first released. Everything in the For the Children achievement is pretty easy, with the glaring exception of The School of Hard Knocks. Lucky for me, Day 1 of Children’s Week seems to be an unofficial interfaction cooperation day. Of the four battleground achievements needed, I was able to get three in battlegrounds where Alliance and Horde players worked together to get each other the needed achievements. I’m always glad to see people work together for a common goal. My one “real” achievement was capping the flag in Eye of the Storm, just moments before we were soundly defeated.

After wrapping up Hail to the King, Baby tonight, Sindei is proudly wearing her Matron title and is one step closer to her Violet Proto-Drake. I’m not sure how much of Children’s Week I’ll do with Ginnger, though I did pick up the Children’s Week quest in Dalaran for her. I generally side with the Oracles, but just to try something different this year, Ginnger has a little Wolvar companion in tow.

Woot!

My raid team finally got Yogg-Saron down. This had been a bit of a sticking point for us. The initial plan had been to clear Ulduar completely before moving on to Icecrown Citadel. But power outages, screwed up raid lockouts, and scheduling issues frustrated our efforts, and when we could get in to fight Yogg, we found the fight coordination a little troublesome. Last night, we worked it all out and got Yogg down for the first time. Woot!

Of course, we didn’t wait to get Yogg down before we entered ICC, because at some point, it just seemed silly to let this one clusterfluffle of a fight stall out all our progession. Still, it’s nice to have it cleared and feel like there’s no unfinished business. We can really focus on ICC “with a clear conscience,” as our main tank said.

As for Ginnger, she’s now at level 70 and living at Vengeance Landing. I’m running her daily random to save up emblems for when she gets to 80, and doing some questing, of course. But her leveling has been slowed down by my decision to change her profession.

I’d been leveling skinning and leatherworking, because skinning is leveled so naturally while you’re questing, and I could make some decent mail gear with leatherworking while she leveled. On further reflection, however, I decided mining and jewelcrafting would be a much better way to go. It’s something that will benefit all my toons, unlike leatherworking. My rogue is an herbalist/alchemist, so I’ve got that synergy working for me. So now Ginnger has gone back to Azeroth to level mining in between random instance runs. I hate having to go back and do that, but better now than at level 80.

I’ve been sneaking in an extra hour here and a spare few minutes there, in Winterspring and Silithus, to get Ginnger to 58. In the race to 58, Ginger had never been to Stonard, so I hit up a mage friend for a port and ran her down to the Dark Portal. Outland at last!

I’ve always just leveled by questing solo and running occasional instances in appropriate-level groups. No dungeon run-throughs from higher level players or anything like that. But when Ginnger got to Outland, my druid friend (and raid co-healer) came out to Hellfire and leveled me up to 60 in less than an hour. It was pure awesome!

I’ve run Ramparts several times already, and I’m finding it a lot of fun. When Sindei ran these instances, I was still new to healing, and I was pretty nervous about it. When you’re responsible for keeping everyone alive, that can be a lot of pressure!

With Ginnger, I have a lot more confidence. The specific tools are different, but now I have a deeper understanding of healing. And healing at this level can be more interesting. On Sindei’s daily heroics, the groups are generally experienced and overgeared. They often take little damage, and I don’t have to do much to keep them going. But the groups Ginnger is running with really need her. There’s nothing quite like getting an inexperienced group through a tough situation, saving people who are sure they’re going to die, and at the end of it, seeing “Epic heals!” in party chat.

Last week, my raid team dipped its toes into ICC. Sure, we’re a little behind the curve in content, but we’re a close-knit, casual team, and we have a great time. We regularly clear ToC, and we’ve cleared most of Ulduar. We’d hoped to get Yogg-Saron down before going into ICC, but that’s taking a little longer than we expected. Yogg is a tough fight, coordination-wise. Several of our team members are relatively new to raiding, so there’s a learning curve. And the fight is complicated!

Of  course, I’m sure we’ll have him down soon, saving the minds of all Azeroth, but in the meantime, we’ve decided it’s time to head into ICC. We’ve done a bit of rep farming in there already, but after a little glitch with the Ulduar 10 raid ID we’d been saving, we took our first swing at the Icecrown bosses last week. We one-shot Marrowgar, who dropped loot for just one raid member (our pally tank/healer). How rude!  Since we didn’t expect to be in ICC that night, we hadn’t really researched the fights, so we wiped on Lady Deathwhisper’s trash before time ran out for the evening. Still, we had a good time, and I’ve no doubt it will be much smoother next go.

I’m resisting the urge to buy Sindei’s T10 gloves. She has 70 frost emblems now, but I’m holding off for a new hat. Currently, she’s wearing four Tier 9 pieces: the shoulders, the gloves, the robe, and the pants. The helm is an offset piece, the Hood of Clouded Sight. (How clouded sight makes me a better healer, I’m not sure, but that’s a question for another time.)

She has the T10 shoulders already, but then I decided not to break the Tier 9 4-piece bonus until Sin had two pieces of Tier 10. I mean, the T9 4-piece bonus isn’t all that, but a bonus is a bonus, I figure. So… if I bought the T10 gloves, she’d have a 2-piece T10 bonus right away, but no T9 bonus at all. So the plan is to go T10 shoulders and helm for the 2-piece T10 bonus, while keeping the pants and gloves for the 2-piece T9 bonus. I plan to buy an offset robe — Meteor Chaser Raiment is better overall for the Disc spec, while Ermine Coronation Robes would be more balanced for both Disc and Holy — and upgrade the T9 pants and gloves last.

Meanwhile, Ginnger continues to suffer the ill effects of my recently curtailed playtime, though I managed to sneak in enough time this morning to get her up to 54.

Soup's on, little guy!

Gin is still living in Tanaris. I wanted to do some leveling in Felwood, but there’s no place for her to live! There’s no inn in Un’Goro Crater either, but I can live in Gadgetzan and fly or run to Un’Goro easily.  Besides, I’m working on that Venomhide mount quest, so it’s convenient to have my hearthstone set there. My to-do list also includes lots of leather farming, so I can get leatherworking up to 300 by the time I hit Hellfire Peninsula. Cooking is way behind, though, and my fishing’s even worse.

I’m eager to get some real grinding time in on Gin so that I can get her moved to Outland soon, but I don’t know when that might be happening. I don’t foresee much extra playtime anytime soon, and next week will be even worse, since I’ll be focused on getting Sindei’s Noblegarden meta.

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