Monday Jan 3, 2022
Alt-tab for the Win!
Christmas was quite a bit more solitary this year with Covid rearing its ugly head in a major way. My wife and I were happily ensconced in our abode. She had a lot of Netflix binging to get done, and that gave me ample time to get rocking on levelling Nmbnutz.
The combo has worked out spectacularly well, Nmbnutz dotting the crap out of everything in sight and Catamara ready with a couple of hots. Kill count quests are blasted into oblivion, with the ability to gather as many mobs as I can reach. Five to six at a time is the comfortable amount, it allows me to get the three dots up on each target (siphon life, corruption and curse of agony). By the time I’m on the last mob, Nmbnutz is about out of mana. A quick Alt-Tab to Catamara the Resto Druid for a rejuvenation and a renew, then back to Nmbnutz to let him life tap to full mana while everything dies around him.
This process allows me to be non-stop in pulling, even quickly using the alt-tab to Catamara to get her mounted up and following Nmbnutz. I’ve not died a single time, in the distance from level 25 to 52. It’s pretty much God-mode. Which… usually whenever I’ve gotten to this point in a game, where you make it ridiculously easy, it becomes not so fun anymore. Strangely though I’m not losing interest, not at all. As the levels tick by, and I get closer to catching up with my level 62 priest, it’s maintained a very high level of interest for me. The endorphins are cranking out at max level I suppose. I’d probably do really well at that gizmo they use for chimpanzees… light flashes, push the button, get a peanut. Maybe.
Tactical vs Strategic
I had to change tactics for Scarlet Monastery. I knew the mobs would hit too hard to be able to use Nmbnutz at level as the one pulling the mobs, so he took a backseat and watched as my other Warlock Gronraed did the heavy lifting. That worked quite well, especially being affliction spec’d with full T4 and using the Imp as a mana battery. 7 runs later and Nmbnutz has a few new levels plus a crapton of shards from disenchanting on the go. One nice thing I discovered (WoW is always full of surprises, no matter how many times you run something). I wanted to repair and sell some stuff on Gronraed, and on the way down to the Chillwind flight path, I saw some neutral NPCs at the Bulwark. Normally this was a horde bastion, to be avoided. However, those guys could repair/buy my stuff. Perfect!
Heading back to the Catamara / Nmbnutz questing bonanza, it continued to work very, very well. There’s always highlights of every levelling experience for me. A series of quests or a questing hub that just is enjoyable, without having long drawn-out quests for drops that drive you crazy. The Hinterlands is once such area, especially since the addition of the Draenei at Aerie Peaks with a set of quests that add to the kill count. Searing Gorge is another fantastic area that I was able to blast through pretty quickly. Even the Smithing Tuyere / Looking Glass quest items dropped within a few kills. The RNG gods were looking favourably upon my endeavour at that point.
The Christmas break without visiting relatives certainly added to the WoW time, and by New Year’s I had run Nmbnutz with Gronraed through both Zul Farrak and Sunken Temple, completing most of the quests those instances had. Number one priority was getting the Carrot On A Stick trinket. That and a set of mithril spurs added a nice 14% movement speed while mounted.
Quinnd, Get Out Of The Inn!
By level 57-58 Nmbnutz was in the home stretch, and I had in mind to switch out Catamara and bring in Quinnd, my level 62 holy/disc priest. Quinnd had been only healing Ramparts and Blood Furnace, did barely any questing in Outlands, and was sitting with a full 100% rested. With Catamara the 70 resto druid, I’d kept her out of party, to maximize the XP for Nmbnutz. With Quinnd however I put him into the group and was able to capitalize on things such as hour-long Fort buffs and Healbot, while gaining XP for both Warlock and Priest. I still set up some focus/follow/cast heal macros and we were off to the races.
In the midst of the Western Plaguelands quests Nmbnutz hit level 60 and was ready for his Epic Riding Mount. For a Warlock, there are special class mounts. At level 30, you receive the spell from your trainer at the cost of mere silver. At 60, however, it involves a long questline that requires hitting at least one instance (Dire Maul) and spending a few hundred gold. I was on a roll with questing and didn’t want to interrupt it, so I ended up just buying an epic horse mount from Elwynn Forest. Perhaps when I get some time and inclination, I’ll get him his proper class mount. Perhaps.
Before heading into Outlands, I remembered the new spellpower trinket available from the High Chief questline in Winterspring, so Nmbnutz and Quinnd headed over there and knocked out the back-and-forth quests pretty quickly. That trinket, along with some nice upgrades I had sitting in the mail, had Nmbnutz ready for Hellfire Penninsula with Quinnd in tow.
I had done a handful of quests with Quinnd in Hellfire, so I got Nmbnutz caught up until they were both on the same quests. I wondered how it would work when it came to collection quests. I considered skipping them, but quickly dumped that idea. I figured screw it, it’s going to take a bit of time, but certainly it would be faster and better for Quinnd as a healer than to solo them, either re-speccing to shadow or just keeping him as healing spec and banging my head against the wall. The grouping method has been working just fine, the time saved on kill count quests that count for both characters more than offset the time required to get double the drops for the gathering quests. Things like collecting stuff on the ground for quests actually worked quite well. Nmbnutz would aggro a bunch of mobs around the items, and I would flip over to Quinnd to run around and pick them up.
So far it has been a fantastic, fun and speedy progress. When Nmbnutz hit 60 I checked his /played time, and it was 4d 22h. That’s a heck of a lot shorter than my last 60, but that was a combination of Classic and then TBC Classic levelling. It felt very fast, that’s for sure. One thing I’m quite convinced about however, is that using an Affliction Spec Warlock has made this the exceptional experience. Dot the mob up, alt-tab to the heals, and alt-tab back. Any other class / spec would require dps downtime while switched to the healer. I do believe that it’s the perfect combination.