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Are we going to have another jump in difficulty between Mists and Cata like we did between Wrath and Cata? Example: I recently leveled my Dwarf Shaman up to 80. When I went from ICC, where things died without a whole lot of difficulty, to Mount Hyjal I died. Repeatedly. I couldn't pull less than 3 things at a time, CCing things was a must, and they hit so much harder it was almost obscene. They seem to have tuned the starting zones to those in ICC gear-- none of my characters were, and I recall it being difficult every time. With RF making it *even more accessible*, will Mists be like that, making it something of a nightmare to level alts I don't run raid finder with up to 90?
This is an amazing question. Potentially yes, and potentially no. Here's the problem: We don't have all of the information yet, so everything is speculative. The first thing to consider is whether or not an item squish or some sort of power balance system goes into effect before or just after the Mists of Pandaria launch. If mudflation is taken care of with an item squish, then there will be a more gradual power ramp-up through the expansion, and you shouldn't see too many gearing problems. On the other hand, if no item squish goes through, Blizzard might be preparing to get rid of these issues by giving players who are setting out into new content "earlier" than they should be because of increased experience gain gear to compensate. We saw those full level 80 sets of gear that were datamined a while back, so who knows?