Well, you guys wanted me to run Deadmines. As you can see, I ran Deadmines. Many thanks go to Urse (Healer), Child (Tank), and Sneafoo (Noob Rogue of Doom) for 4-manning the thing with me. Urse was pretty overleveled for the place so healing was hilariously easy, but Sneafoo made up for it by starting the run at level 12 and aggroing Gruul from the pirate ship.
I went further than that, too. I didn't stop at Deadmines, I did Wailing Caverns, Blackfathom Deeps and Shadowfang Keep as well. I was kicking around the idea as soon as someone suggested Deadmines, but I didn't think I would manage to land a group for either of them. When I went out to the Barrens to get my Succubus (Angva) at level 20, that sealed the deal for me. I picked up the quest The Orb of Soran'ruk, and despite the fact that its quest rewards sucked, it gave me more reason to try and get the groups together. I put out a call to all of the various resources I knew, LFG and community chat channels (your server probably has a few good ones) and all of that, and managed to score a few groups.
The 5-man dungeons were absolutely a ton of fun, but is that really surprising? Even though I consider myself a high-end raider, I really love 5-man content. There's plenty of room for both in the game, and I've long held the opinion that each content patch should have a 5-man to accompany the raid zone. 5-mans have incredible longevity if done well and given desirable rewards. I don't know about your servers, but Magisters' Terrace still sees a ton of action on mine. The gear was incredible at level 70, it was acceptably challenging, and it remains relevant through its vanity rewards like the Swift White Hawkstrider (which I use and adore on my main) and the Phoenix Hatchling.
While Shadowfang, Wailing Caverns and Blackfathom lack some of those lasting rewards, I still enjoyed running them. Since they lack those rewards, they've all sort of fallen by the wayside so I was glad to have some actual reason to run them. Many thanks to Jillanus, Tempt, Retica, and a couple of the folk that helped out with Deadmines for tagging along on these somewhat less rewarding runs.
Playing The Warlock
So there's that about what instances I did, now let's talk about the class. A lot of my grievances for last time such as a lack of mana regen and all of that have pretty much gone away. Once I got to my 20s, I started getting the many talents and abilities that make the Warlock a strong soloing class. Fel Concentration was a recent acquisition, and Life Tap without talents or much spell power seems sort of like you're whipping yourself just because you like pain. It's much more useful with Improved Life Tap and some spell power behind it. I definitely feel better about my downtime while soloing now than I did last week.
The stretch of levels I'm in right now isn't exactly the greatest place to start min/maxing, but figuring out how to use my spells in instances was pretty interesting. I'm having a rough time feeling out when to re-apply my DoTs on a mob, or to just blast it because it wouldn't be worth it to reup them. It's all part of the process! Advice is welcome, but I suspect there's no simple rule of thumb. All mobs have different health pools, so it's a matter of adjusting.
Last week, you all voted that I go to Westfall rather than continue on in Loch Modan. After finishing up a few quests I had in my quest log, I hopped on the Deeprun Tram and made the trip down. While Loch Modan still had a bit of freshness for me since I haven't gone there often over the years, I know Westfall like the back of my hand. For the longest time I really liked Westfall, so I would take all of my alts there. When everyone started going nuts over the Draenei starter zones, I was still running alts to Westfall. I knew it well enough that I could go in, get all the necessary quests, and be out in a couple hours. Even pre-nerf Defias Pillagers weren't immune to my brutal efficiency.
There has been one roadbump in my Westfall desctruction, however. Each and every time. The Defias Messenger. Yeah, sure, you can just wait in Moonbrook for him to either patrol back or respawn, but holy crapola. Do you know how long it takes him to RP walk across the entire zone? I was sitting in Moonbrook for a half hour waiting for his stupid face to show up. Yeah, I could've wandered off down the road to hunt him down, but then what would have happened if somebody killed him while I was working my way up the zone? Yep, would've spawned back in Moonbrook and I've missed my chance. This quest sucks, yo. In fact, it sucks so hard that I kind of want to spell it 'sux' to emphasize just how much suck it sucks.
But I killed him eventually, so woo.
My brutal efficiency (with that single exception) caused me to finish up Westfall really, really quickly. Rather than sitting around doing nothing all week, I did a little questing in Redridge between instance runs, and I was reminded why I hate that zone. It's basically nothing but tightly packed Humanoids that all either run or call for help. It was even worse before the removal of elite status from many of the mobs, so I was glad that was gone.
Redridge is also home to what is probably one of the most epic (also annoying) escort quests in the game. Missing in Action's Corporal Keeshan is kind of a badass all things considered, despite the annoyance of the quest. He's a legit tank, even when he's wrapped in bloodied bandages. Play your cards right and he'll taunt things right off of you and let you blast away. Very convenient. Still, the escort was way too long. I didn't exactly time it, but I'm pretty sure the escort took a good 20-30 minutes or more to go from the back of the cave to Lakeshire. Considering the next person that shows up to do the quest needs to wait for him to respawn back there, they could be camping out in a dank corner of a cave for a half hour. That's not good.
So now comes the part where we decide where I go. At level 25, we have three more choices. We're tied to Hillsbrad, Duskwood, and the Wetlands until around level 30, so...
Level 30 will come up pretty quick, most likely. That'll open up some additional zones to mix it up a little more and give me somewhere else to go. After I finish up the zone picked above, where would you guys like to see Turpen go?
Odds and Ends
In other news, I forgot I had this Kharanos Gift Voucher in my bag from when I first rolled the character. My WoW account is a Collector's Edition, so I get a fancy pet each time I roll an alt. I usually default to the Panda because it's the cutest. The Zergling is sort of ugly, and I've only recently played a Diablo game so the Mini Diablo is sort of meh. The Diablo might go nicely with a Warlock, though. Which should I pick?
The whole leveling process has been very cool. I've had a lot of readers sending me tells in-game (which I welcome, by the way) and that's been neat. I've had a number of people say they want to race me to 80, but keep in mind that that's probably a bad idea. Level at your own pace, not mine! Remember, leveling this character is practically part of my job now, so when I actually take some time to level, I'm going to be doing it aggressively. It's a work ethic thing, not a gameplay thing. Don't inflict yourself with it unless gaming is serious business to you! Still, I love chatting with you guys, so don't be afraid to stop by and say hello. All of you have been incredibly kind. Well, most of you...
Now a question for the ages: What else do you want to see Turpen do? More instances? Some PvP? Some other crazy random other thing? Try to be as specific as possible in your requests! Heck, do you have any questions for me? About the class, or my tradeskills? About my experiences? Ask them here or on my feed! If you ask on my feed, you're more likely to get a quick response. If you ask here, you're probably going to be waiting until next week.
Before I close up, remember that you can follow Turpen's progress visually in my WoW.com gallery dedicated to him. I'm uploading a screenshot of him at every level, and it's all completely up to date. If you want to see how he grows progressively more awesome looking, that's the place to look.
I'll decide where to go next according to the status of the polls embedded in this post at midnight tonight, but I'll leave them open awhile longer so you can all see the results. If you don't get your vote in before midnight, it won't count. How do you like dem apples?