Ding! Level 70 with the Paladin and the Mage


On Wednesday night, I finally hit level 70. My /played time was about 28 days. That's 28 days of real-time play -- 672 hours. At level 70, things become rather interesting, and the game dynamics change a little.

  • At 70, experience points no longer matter. The experience bar disappears, which feels odd because something that was there from the beginning is missing.
  • Quest experience is changed into gold -- making quests on average 8 to 20 gold a turn in.
  • Instead of grinding for experience, the grinding is for faction. To be able to do a lot of the high end content, a key to the "heroic mode" dungeons is needed, and those only become available at the exalted faction level.
  • The money grind is to get the flying mount, which opens up a few new areas (mainly for farming).

Wednesday night, I thought long and hard about my mage's choice of tradeskills -- she had enchanting and blacksmithing. The blacksmithing was great for building armor and items for my Paladin in the pre-60 part of the game, but for most of the levels, I relied on quest rewards to gear up my characters. This made the saving of money for mounts a little bit easier, as I would sell or disenchant the items when I was done. At 60, I switched to buying items from the auction house, particularly "of the Sorceror" for my characters just to get started in the Outland.

After arriving in Outland, the quests do a fairly good job of equipping the characters with decent equipment, and as you do the solo quests, the equipment rewards quickly outpace the items one receives in the dungeons. An item received in the Ramparts (the first dungeon of Outland) will likely not be used if the player skips the dungeon and does a few quests in Zangarmarsh. With the large variety of items available, my blacksmithing skill stagnated in the old world at around 245, and though I forced myself to get it up to 281, doing 36 points of thorium based equipment probably cost me on the order of 700+ gold pieces, and perhaps another 700 to get to 300 from there, and an ungodly sum to get from 300 to 375.

On Thursday, Blacksmithing was dropped in favor of Tailoring, which has some nice usable "Bind on Pickup" gear for my Mage. I spent the rest of the day shuttling pieces of cloth from my various other characters ("mules" in MMOG-speak) in order to level through to 350 tailoring quite quickly. At present the Tailoring skill is at 365 (10 points to go!), with much leftover cloth, and costing much less stress/money than Blacksmithing.

Friday I spent the day clearing some solo quests from the quest log, while gathering more Netherweave (Outland cloth).

Saturday I ran instance dungeons...

  • Shattered Halls as AoE pally.
  • Shattered Halls as main tank.
  • Ring of Blood (quest) as heal pally
  • Underbog as tank pally.
  • Mana Tombs as tank pally.
  • Underbog as tank pally/mage

Sunday, I didn't play as much, but I did manage to get in a few dungeons and a couple of quests.

  • Shattered Halls as heal pally.
  • Gorefiend quest as heal pally. (A fight involving a big ghostly dragon)
  • Mana Tombs as dps Mage.

Our guild is terribly short of healers right now, so one of the things I am considering is respecializing in Holy (healing) rather than Protection (tanking). Respecing in Holy would give me faster heals, at the cost of some tanking ability. One of the interesting things about playing a Paladin is the versatility of the class, but as a hybrid class, one is also second-best at everything -- both second rate tank and second rate healer. With the ability to use plate mail, it makes them a much more resilient healer, but as a result their heals are much less powerful than other healers.

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