Variety is the Spice of Leveling
I’ve pushed into Lich King on Liberated, my undead Death Knight (that makes him alive, from a double-negative point of view, right?). The last few levels of dungeon leveling in BC were pretty grueling, but mostly because I seemed to get Escape from Durnholde Keep over and over. Seriously. I probably got that one 70% of the time from when it was first available until 69.
At 69, all the “end game” BC dungeons became available. I had been able to queue for LK dungeons before that, but I didn’t, because I didn’t want them to get completely stale even faster than the BC ones did. Instead, I noted the amount of “bonus XP” available for random queueing and realized that it was less than half of what I’d get for queueing for specific dungeons I hadn’t done and doing the quests in them. I started doing that, instead.
It was much, much more pleasant than the random queues. For some reason, a lot of the people there were more serious players; I’m not sure if there’s something magical about doing BC dungeons at 70 that lures only serious players, but in the 7 or 8 that I did, I only ran into one jerk, a DK (surprise, surprise) that kept pulling ahead of me. I played it cool and stayed polite, but after the third time, (the first resulting in a wipe, the second resulting in the healer’s death since I had no CDs and he pulled 3 extra groups (in the room in Shattered Halls where the 5 guys are fighting on both sides), so the healer got DEVASTATED before I could adequately react), I suggested the healer let him run back instead of rezzing him, and the DK dropped the group instead. We easily finished with 4.
It was nice to go back through the old dungeons, doing quests each time, seeing the old sights with fresh eyes. It also helped spread out my activities and helped put off grinding Utgarde Keep and Azjol Nerub 30 times. Additionally, the queues weren’t instant any more, as most people at that level do go into LK dungeons, so I had time to fly around and pick herbs to mill while I waited. The queues were never too long, just long enough that I could hit a few nodes, so it helped diversify my play, as well. It was a very nice system, and I plan to do the same for each end-of-expansion section.
Other than the triple-extra-pull when I had just double pulled and used my aoe cooldowns, I’ve found my DK to be nigh-indestructible. I was easily able to survive the first boss in Magister’s Terrace even though I had moved too quickly and accidentally locked the healer out (I didn’t even realize there was a lock-out mechanism on that boss, since you usually fight him up on that platform). Rune tap, Death Strike, Lichbourne healing, and Death Pact make it almost impossible for me to be killed – and that’s not counting a potion and any off heals I might receive. I’ve survived in a lot of situations I probably shouldn’t have, which of course goes back to my point about how inadequately leveling prepares one for end-game, but we’ve already heard enough about that.
At any rate, the past few levels have been fun. I only have The Opening of the Dark Portal (Black Morass) remaining before I move on to Lich King, but all the dungeons have pushed me up to 71, and the herb gathering another half level, so I’ll be 72 shortly, which means new dungeons. Hopefully I’ll get lucky and not get the LK equivalent of Durnholde over and over (Hmm… Anakhet? I’m not sure what the longest and most boring LK dungeon is; ask me again in 6 levels).
Stubborn (and getting ready to visit his old boss, Arthas)