I had a plan.
It was a long, convoluted plan, but it would totally work for me.
And then the plan got crumpled up and tossed out the window.
When Cata dropped, I had to be gogogogogogogogo with my priest (as gogo as I could be working 60 hour weeks and sick as a dog) to be ready for raiding.
I’ll be honest, rushing through like that didn’t do a whole lot for me in terms of game appreciation. I enjoyed the new zones, but always in the back of my mind was, “I have to get through this and to max level so I can gear and raid.” But it was OK, because in the back of my mind was also, “hey, I’ve still got my mage I can level through here and take all the time I want.”
The plan with Arioch was actually to finish out my last zone in Outlands, return to old world to level Archaeology while doing all the revamped zones, hitting Outlands for Arch, moving to Northrend to level Arch while doing all the quests I missed out there. THEN I would finally move on to the new zones. With all the drops I would be getting from Selwyn and Kaayn, I would have ample opportunity to level my cooking, tailoring, and enchanting. (Fishing got taken care of during the guild fishing raid to get the new fish feast recipe.)
Tir decided it was time to level his warrior and asked me to join. So I did.
I was already level 82 from various dailies and a little bit of questing I had done in Vashj’ir before I had made the plan. So we met up in Deepholm and started leveling. He’s a tank so we had instant queues and sprinkled those in between the quests. Other than opening up the portal, we skipped Uldum and went to Twilight highlands.
I hadn’t run a dungeon in a while and had forgotten most of what I knew from the few regulars I ran on Kaayn. Healing is definitely a different beast and the mechanics I have to pay attention to shift a bit.
Coupled with my inexperience in the dungeons I have the trait of not switching well between characters. So I’m constantly looking to PW:S the tank and wondering why I’m casting Scorch (that’s mapped to where Smite is). On the flip side, I’m looking for mana gems and trying to blink on my priest.
All told, I didn’t do too bad and it wasn’t particularly stressful.
Arioch dinged 85 on the southern shore of the Twilight Highlands and Pale dinged about 10 minutes later.
Strudel, you are missed. Cake is great, but I still look for the strudel icon on my bar.
Back to Org to celebrate, log out and relax…
Or back to Org to gather enough gear to make it into heroics.
That’s right, 20 minutes after 85, I’m in queue for my first heroic on Arioch.
Now if you’ll remember, I’m not too keen on heroics on my priest. I should write a post about my distaste for healing 5-man dungeons. And here I was, about to enter hell on my mage. The character I had decided I was going to play for sheer enjoyment, and I was entering a heroic.
And you know what?
It was fun again. I was spellstealing and counterspelling and sheeping and pewpewing and it was fun. I made sure to not be standing in the bad or doing other things to stress out my healers. I used defensive CDs as appropriate (when I remembered where they were mapped). All in all, it was almost relaxing. A far cry from the tears and contemplation of deleting my priest that came from healing heroics.
Arcane feels a little different than it did in Wrath. It doesn’t feel quite as controlled, it feels like I’m a lot more RNG-based than it was before. But all the familiar sounds are there, the comforting icons, and the rush of raw arcane power pouring from Arioch’s hands. There also isn’t a lot of reading available for it, what with fire being on top. But arcane is getting 13% more love in 4.1.
I doubt I’ll get to do any serious raiding on Arioch, not unless we suddenly recruit a plethora of priests. (There’s another reason too, but we’ll get to that next time. /tease) But a heroic here and there will be good for now and a pleasant distraction from beating our heads against the raid wall in 25s.
Oh, in case you’re wondering, Arcane Blast is mapped to R on my keyboard.