World of Warcraft: My Current Progress and Experiences in Patch 5.2

We’re now about to get into the 4th day of Patch 5.2 for Mist of Pandaria. Much of what I’ve been doing (outside of helping a friend level up a bit) is focusing on gearing my guys up further and doing dailies on my newer 90 level toons. I’m attempting to avoid Heroics and seeing if I can use alternative methods of hitting the magic ilvl 460 mark. And thus far, I’ve been successful on my Shaman.

I picked up some of the new ilvl 458 crafted shoulders that sold for 1k on the Auction House. Because of the new discoverable patterns daily for crafters, it’s really hard depending on your own toons to provide the exact gear you’ll need. And with the patch just coming out, there’s very limited options on the Auction House, which are fairly costly. So at this stage, I’m willing to put up some gold just to push faster as the return would be very high down the road.

Another thing I managed was getting lucky off of a Galleon raid. While the Galleon raids at the start of the week were still highly competitive with the alliance faction on my server, I’ve noticed that, like the Sha of Fear, the raids have progressively become slower and less competitive as the week goes by. Thus, I managed to get in a few Galleon groups, one of which dropped my shaman a nice 496 helmet (and my DK friend also received a nice 496 plate helmet). Those two items managed to push me just at the ilvl 460 mark and immediately queued for Mogu’shan Vaults part 1.

For my shaman, each boss dropped something in part 1. At the end, along with a nice cape purchase, my shaman ended up at 466 ilvl. That’s not bad at all, despite Mogu’shan Vaults Part 2 giving me a terrible group. I think with some extra valor points and a lucky Sha or Galleon drop or two, I can set my eyes on Heart of Fear for next week.

My death knight by comparison has not been as lucky thus far. However, I’ve mostly been focusing on my shaman because he’s my tailor/enchanter and I dearly need him to unlock the better enchants through reputation bonuses. My plan for him is to gear him enough to have less issues as he tackles the various daily quests, which here and there have given him some issues. I think once he gets a little further up on the DPS/gear chart, he should have no issues whatsoever. That said, my death knight still needs to complete Dread Wastes, but I’m not in as big of a rush. One thing I’m hoping to do is get some of the craftable PVP plate plans for my paladin. Thus far, I’ve not seen anything on our Auction House. So perhaps, a lucky drop or purchase can boost my Death Knight next as well.

My next big project that I started today was playing my warlock once again. After hearing a great deal about the updated demonology warlock spec, I decided to switch him from Affliction to demonology. I have to admit that at first, I found playing the demonology spec a bit awkward. But as I got used to the rotation, I slowly began to become accustomed to the playstyle. It is weird and I’m certain that I’m far from perfect. But I have to say, it’s actually quite fun.

Previously, I found demonology frustrating. The rotation was unbelievably complicated and the pet barely could hold aggro, if not aggroing everything around him. Now, it feels a lot smoother, the AoE is insane and easier while some of the instant spell casts are pretty sick with some nice burst thrown in. I think the switching between demonic and normal form can get confusing. At first, I thought that the playstyle would be like a boomkin, but now it really feels more like a feral druid. Pretty much you’re building up combo-like points then switching in and out of your demon form as you use your fury resource up.

That said, I haven’t had many problems so far. The survivability aspect is better than I expected and the play seems reasonable. I suppose we’ll have to see how it compares as I get into the more difficult zones. One thing I discovered that I enjoy is the leap ability. It reminds me somewhat of the warrior’s Heroic Leap capability. Definitely a great little movement booster.  I think once he hits 90, I might switch back to affliction. But like Beast Master for the hunter, I find that it might be better just to stick with one spec and master it, even if the numbers indicate that DPS can be higher.

Something I haven’t done a lot of though is the new island. As expected, my island was extremely crowded. Now, that can be both good and bad. I think if you’re with a group, it’s perfectly fine. But soloing these quests with the ridiculous spawn rate as a result of all the people clustered together is terrible. I could not help but aggro all the different mobs in the area. It made the area almost impossible if I wasn’t playing with my friend.

Another little thing I discovered was the work order aspect for the farm. After looking at the quests, I realized that the reputation gains from those quests are quite low compared to the sacrifice you make in not producing crafting materials. That said, with all the new recipes available through crafting, I realize that it’s more important than ever to continue leveling my toons up and maxing out their farms.

Truthfully, it’s quite hard to manage every single toon in this regard. Everything can get overwhelming, especially when you’re focused on performing different tasks like dailies, LFR, leveling, etc. It feels that the best way to do things is concentrate on a toon or two until they’re close to maxing out at something then switching. I go in rotations but at the same time I think that there’s some fundamental things you need to do every week like LFR, Galleon, Sha, etc. But for every week that you miss out on an encounter, it’s more loot that you’re missing out to better prepare your toons.

Something I am concerned with as more patches get released is older content from Mist of Pandaria. Since the new LFRs aren’t released in whole yet, I’m hoping that the current group of LFRs keep their queue times low. So my plan is to continue leveling my toons as much as possible in case people start to taper off. I’m hoping that things like Sha of Anger or Galleon eventually do not slow down. I figure people will always need more gear, mounts, etc. for themselves or alts. So there should be room for more in the future. Despite that, I don’t put my full trust in this notion and want to ensure myself that I can have enough people properly geared down the road.

That all said, I am enjoying the faster gear progression at this stage. It’s a LOT better overall and has renewed my motivation (with the exception of the bad pug). I feel the overall environment is a little better. The grinding aspect still exist but there are more options like the farming orders and reputation selection for Heroics.

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