obligatory wow cataclysm update

Every now and then I’ll indulge myself a WoW update on this blog, and since Cataclysm was launched last December, I may as well get this out of the way now. I am still no longer a raider (retired after Hyjal/BT), but instead just play 5mans and other fun things in my (lvl 12) guild. I will say, however, that with Cata’s approach to more casual raiding, I’ve been tempted to start in again, but am so far successful in resisting. Besides, 5man heroics are fun (difficult) enough as it is, and they should keep me entertained for some time.

With the recent game changes, I’ve found myself really stoked with the new challenges and the fact that even 5man heroics can’t be run on autopilot, even by DPSers. Since I am typically a heal class, however, I don’t like that I actually *depend* on DPS not fucking up. That’s new, and taking some getting used to. But overall, I really dig the new play mechanics (triage healing) and group mechanics. I love that it really takes some awareness for all classes to play now. Wrath 5mans were too quick, too easy, and just one good player could carry the whole run, with minor (ICC 5s) exception. Cata has brought the difficulty back!

My main is an 85 Resto Shaman who dabbles as Elemental now and then. He has taken quite well to the recent changes. In fact, I was never a haste whore even when haste started actually getting interesting back in late BC, so focusing on mana efficiency for Wrath isn’t so new to me. My philosophy has always been: I’m useless as a healer if I don’t have mana. So now he fits in nicely and currently heals 5man heroics. I’ve also always been a “busy” healer, so keeping busy in Wrath mechanics is second nature already. I love moving from UE/RT/HW neutral mode up into bombing some bigger heals out as needed and letting HST top people off while I regen mana with LB. This is my only toon currently running 5man heroics. (Yes, even PUGs, when not in guild runs which are vastly easier!)

My Disc Priest was a surprise when he Smite-ground up as my second 85 character (leveling was easy as Disc…not blazing fast, but easy as pie). He also heals 5mans (AA spec, non-heroic so far) and just this week I’ve been dabbling in Holy as a second spec, just to compare and contrast that with the 2 sub-specs in Disc (PoH aoe heals vs AA). I didn’t expect to like Disc healing at 85, but so far I’ve really enjoyed the challenge and intricacy of managing Grace, Archangel, abusing Atonement/Penance, and otherwise leveraging the synergies of the new talents. As Holy, I’m looking forward to rolling Renews, which is a totally new playstyle than the past, and should be fun. Still, I expect to remain a Disc healer who can dabble into Holy/PoH-spam if necessary. This toon was my second toon back in vanilla and was a Holy/Fear-Ward-Bitch (ally dwarf) for BWL runs, so has always been heals).

My old main, my Warlock, is still sitting at 81, but in what little time I have played him since Cata hit, I’m stoked about leveling him up for 5mans sometime soon. Leveling with Soulswap is outright fun, and rolling DoTs on everything (Affliction) has been the way I played since vanilla WoW. All is good in the face-melting DPS department, whenever I get around to him again.

My DK tank is still 80 and I have decided she will be one of the last toons I get to 85. Not only is it asking a lot to master yet another new playstyle, but I don’t have much desire to get yet another toon up into 5man heroics yet. If I did, I’d have to relearn tanking (though it’s not as bad as most think it is) or figure out how to DPS on her…

My new Worgen is 36 right now and a baby Druid bear. I may in fact tank on this toon before my DK, assuming I get him leveled up someday. Leveling him up with a good friend of mine who runs a Priest Worgen.