Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The paladin project

As a follow-up to my Paladin dilemma post, this is where I will explain and detail my final decision on how to approach paladin tanking and healing.

First, I will re-iterate that the comments I received for my dilemma post were great. Thank you all for your insight.

I had reached the same conclusion myself, even before I posted that article. I knew that it would be kind of a waste of time to start another paladin when I already have a fully geared one. I was also aware that I would have to start tanking in a normal dungeon and stay away from heroics until I get some solid experience and also upgraded gear if I were to go with my existing pally.

Having said this, leveling a new character always holds an appeal to me. For most people who raid, the end game is just the beginning. For me, in most cases it means the end of that particular character's career, until the next expansion hits. Case in point: my warlock, paladin and death knight are all retired at the moment.

I like leveling. I like discovering new skills and talents and I like the experience of becoming more powerful. Today, leveling is a different experience compared to the old days. My paladin was the first character I leveled and even though back then I used a prot spec, I had no idea what tanking meant. I just picked something that "worked" for my shield. Needless to say, leveling was extremely slow and painful. Now, it is no longer the case. For one thing, skills and talents are much more streamlined and thus more powerful and efficient. For another, I have accumulated a lot of WoW experience and I know how to blaze through content. Thirdly, the Dungeon Finder makes it extremely easy to run dungeons and get amazing gear and experience, while leveling.

Here's what I suggest. Although common sense says that I should start my paladin tanking / healing career with my level 80 paladin, I have decided to start a new project. The Paladin Project. In a nutshell, I will attempt to level a new paladin to at least level 60 with a protection spec. What follows are the rules that I am imposing on myself.

Paladin project rules

1. I will start a new paladin on a random server and I will make him public so that everybody can watch his progress.
2. I will create him on the Horde side, just to mix things up a bit. In consequence, he will be a Blood Elf.
3. My new paladin will obviously not benefit from any gold or other items from my rich Alliance toons.
4. He will have to earn his own existence and pay for his own stuff. That means he will have to learn 2 gathering professions and will have to sell the stuff he gathers on the AH.
5. As soon as dungeons become available through the Dungeon Finder (I don't know exactly what level that is but I assume it's past level 10), I will start queuing him up for randoms.
6. I will attempt to level him exclusively through random dungeons. The fact that he is prot will help place him instant queues. The only quests that I will do from that point on are the ones that group members can share.
7. I will level him to at least level 60. Why 60? Because at 60 all the major talents in the protection tree become available.
8. I will document each level in my blog, detailing each skill that I learn and each talent that I assign. Also, I will document my dungeon forays and the experiences from them.

Disclaimer: I won't guarantee any of the above but I will strive to obey my own rules. It is very possible that at some point I will become tired, bored or frustrated with my paladin and abandon the whole project. It is also possible that I will put the project on hold for extended periods of time, until I get my mojo back.

Issues that I will encounter

It is already obvious to me that I will encounter some problems with this project. The biggest problem here is that I won't have any gold to deck him out with at least a set of bags. For this reason, he will have to earn his own bread. This means learning 2 gathering professions and selling the gathered stuff on the AH. This also implies creating a bank alt so I won't waste time on my main character.

A first priority is making enough gold to afford 4 Netherweave Bags. This could cost me up to 40 gold which means I will have to hustle some peacebloom and leather quickly.

Another thing is that I will need sufficient gold to train all my skills and professions and be able to afford a mount. Hopefully, once I start gathering my first few stacks of stuff I will easily afford all this.

Then there's equipment. I won't have the luxury of twink or heirloom gear from my high level alts so I will have to buy some stuff from the AH if I'm unlucky with dungeon drops.

A big problem here is that I realized that I will probably have to leave healing for much later. At any rate, healing with the paladin is not a main priority. I am fascinated mostly by the tanking aspect, especially since it is guaranteed to give me an instant spot in any random dungeon. Why I say that healing will have to wait is that I will probably be relatively poor at level 40 when dual specs become available. I doubt I'll be able to raise 1000 gold, considering that I will focus on leveling this guy and not playing the AH.

In conclusion, I've made up my mind to at least attempt this new project. I don't want it to put a lot of pressure on my gaming style so I will do it casually. Probably all my dungeon leveling will be done during the week, hopefully inside an hour. On the weekends I'm still concentrating on my priest. It's meant to be a fun little project and a break from the usual WoW routine.

So what do y'all think?


Anonymous said...

Good luck with the 'instant queues'. My warrior couldn't find groups to tank from 60-73 because we never had a healer. Could be just the server though....

Gyldenfeax said...

Sounds like a good idea to me. It would certainly be a good source of info for new posts, especially the horde side of things. I'd almost consider leveling a completely new toon alongside you but that probably defeats your aim to do it solo.

Ophelie said...

When you take two gathering professions (herbing and mining are especially profitable, but skinning isn't bad either and is easiest to level), making gold isn't bad at all. By just selling my herb stacks, I'm usually at around 100g by level 20. On the character I leveled to 60, I reached the 1000g gold mark at level 42ish.

Also, one thing some other pally levelers and I have discovered is that, up to a certain level, you can do pretty much anything in your ret spec. I've been tanking ret until level 60 and I recently came across a blogger who was healing ret until level 50ish. Just save the greens you find, and check the AH regularly for good deals on blues and epics. With everyone using the LFD to level, good leveling gear goes cheap!

Bear Pelt said...

Sounds fun! Kind of like a real diary of a person (or a blog, in its most basic sense lol). Will we get to see some screenies? :D

Shannara said...

Yeah, on the Rampage battlegroup, queues for tanks can get upwards of 1h per queue, as happened all day today :(

Celebrandil said...

You can use the dungeon finder once you hit level 15. Ragefire Chasm will be the first on your list.

As said above, don't think you will instantly find groups just because you are a tank. There are very few players out there that use a healing spec for leveling, and double specs won't be available until you're 40. You will still be facing queues.

It gets faster after level 70, and at 80 you find groups within a second. If you are not playing on a dead realmpool.

Redbeard said...

There's a plethera of nice drops in Ragefire Chasm, so that's good. Wailing Caverns ain't so bad either.

I will definitely recommend hooking up with someone to take care of Knuclerot and Luzran in the Ghostlands -especially before level 18-19; on the two servers I've been on (one PVP and one PVE) a tank is the hardest one to find for taking out those two abominations. You'll be a popular dude if you go to Ghostlands and ask in General if anyone wants to team up with your tank to take out those two.

Darth Solo said...

Well it's weird about the healer shortage. My priest always has some trouble finding groups, meaning that he still waits for one, sometimes up to 15 minutes. I've had a few instances where queuing only took about 2-3 minutes but those are rare. Every time I queue up for a random dungeon it's always the tank that everybody is waiting for. I really hope I'm right.

As for how healers level, it seems to me that until level 40 you can safely level as DPS and also do a hell of a good job healing instances. My priest had no problems healing as shadow until 40. I'm assuming that other healers will do the same thing. Level as DPS, queue as heal/dps.

We'll have to see.

Yeah, it's a nice little project (I hope) and I will definitely post screenshots. This guy won't be anonymous.

Wookie7 said...

Don't forget, you don't have to pay (much) for your mounts as a pally. So that expense got a bit cheaper for you.

Jerry said...

Very interesting post and I'll be following along. I started doing the same thing, only on the Alliance side. I lost interest in the project around the mid-20s though. For me, it was just a motivation thing and having to be the leader. I'm sure it'll be different for you.

As a Blood Elf, the easiest way to make a good foundation of gold is to use the vendors in Tranquellian (sp?)and Silvermoon City. In the Bazaar a vendor sells limited amounts of wool cloth for a silver, which you can resell for several gold. Also, in the Ghostlands once you do Tomber's Supplies it opens up his vendor goods. He sells all sorts of herbs, ores, and scrolls for coppers. The herbs and ores resell for gold, esp. the higher level herbs and the ores. He has even sold me silver ore on occasion. Finally, you can visit the poison vendor and buy up the "rare spawn" Sinister Scimitars and Throat Piercers she sells. Those go for 10gp each on my server, and I was able to get 6 of the swords and 3 of the throwing weapons.

All in all I was able to get myself from all gray items and no money to full greens/blues, a full set of Netherweave Bags, and 200gp in my pockets basically from this reselling and my normal gathering skills. The items from the dungeons filled out my gear deficiencies. So I think you can get financially stable fairly easy as a Blood Elf. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

A blood elf? My condolences. ;)

Don't worry too much about cash early on. I rolled a couple of toons on a Horde server where I had no other characters and no outside means of support. (I wanted to see the Barrens before the Great Sundering, and I didn't want to hit the toon cap on my Alliance server.)

By the time I got both toons into their mid 20s, I had racked up 1K gold, mostly by selling herbs and ore and doing a little bit of AH speculating. (I also lucked out and got a couple of twink drops that sold for 100+ gold each. All hail the power of the RNG!)

Don't discount the items from the goodie bag that you'll get by doing daily randoms. By all accounts the loot is pretty good.

Good luck!

- Morrall/SWC

Will said...

If you put him on horde side Cenarius-US, when you hit 40, I'll pay for your dual specs... let you hustle the other stuff if you want.

You can start doing randoms at level 15, and prot really starts to kick but in the 40's, but isn't the best before that.

Darth Solo said...

@Jerry thanks for the awesome tips.

@Will thanks that's very nice of you but one of the "rules" for this project is that I'm trying to be self-sufficient, including dual-specs and everything.