Here we go, folks, oncemore over the breach. There’s a whole new world out there of zone-spanning questlines, dailies, faction grinds, new 5mans, heroics, raids, and so much more. I for one am pumped and I’m sure you are too.
I’m sure many of you are planning to pull some crazy all-nighters tonight and push as far ahead of the pack as you can, and the best of luck to you if so. For those of you hitting the ground running at midnight Pacific time, I offer the following advice:
Vashj’ir or Hyjal?
Personally, I preferred questing in Vashj’ir. I thought the quests were more engaging and a lot more fun. And I thoroughly enjoyed the whole under-the-sea mechanic. Hyjal felt a lot like “more of the same”, while Vashj’ir felt like something new. Of course, your mileage may vary, and I’m sure loregasms alone will bring people to Hyjal.
In terms of practicality, Meloree brought up a great point when I was talking to him. Vashj’ir has a lot of Earthen Ring quests, which will get you a head start on grinding their rep before you even set foot in Deepholm. This will probably help cut down the time required to acquire the helm enchant and some handy tanking pants.
Start with the following spec: 0/31/5. It’ll maximize damage done while skipping talents otherwise mandatory for serious tanking but superfluous in soloing or group leveling.
As you ding, pick up these talents at the following levels:
- 81, Rule of Law (1/3)
- 82, Rule of Law (2/3)
- 83, Rule of Law (3/3)
- 84, Pursuit of Justice (1/2)
- 85, Pursuit of Justice (2/2)
Rule of Law is the next best dps talent available to us, so it should be a priority to speed up leveling. If you’re looking for actual speed, you could switch and grab Pursuit of Justice first, but with flying mounts available as you level, I can’t see that being as much of a priority as it might be otherwise.
At 81, we pick up the mythical Inquisition. This is not a substitution for ShoR in single-target, you still want to shield slam away. However, feel free to go hog wild blowing your Holy Power on Inquisition and then HotRing the night away.
At 83, Holy Radiance can be learned. It’s not as game changing as the other two spells you’ll pick up on your journey to 85, but it can have its uses. Mana willing, it’ll lighten the load for anyone you’re group leveling with.
At 85, we get the big daddy–Guardian of the Ancient Kings. This’ll summon an Ancient Guardian to reduce our damage taken by 50%. Of course, by this point, you’ll be 85, so its effect on leveling will be non-existent.
I leveled 1-70 as tank back in TBC. 70-80 in Wrath, too. And I fully expect to do the grind again as prot this time around. In beta, I found that it was very helpful to collect two kinds of gear as I went. A set composed of plate dps pieces for burning down mobs as fast as possible, and a tank gear set for 5mans and tougher quests/mobs that demand a bit more survival.
Two changes make this a great idea: (1) free uncrittability which we now enjoy via talents, and (2) most gear of the same iLevel and armor class has an equal amount of stamina, regardless of function. Concerning my last point, check out this green versus this green. The only different between the two is the secondary stats. One has avoidance, one has dps stats.
Prioritize gear with expertise and hit for your “Ret set” since those will give us the most damage-dealing bang for our buck. Mastery is also pretty great too. Haste is “meh” for us. As for the baby tank set, bank any parry/dodge quest rewards for when they’re needed.
As for the t10 set bonuses, hold on to the 2pc HotR bonus as long as you can, but don’t gimp yourself to keep it.
Ultimately, you’ll probably find that most of your Wrath gear will be completely replaced by the end of Deepholm.
And they’re off!
The best of luck to anyone tonight attempting to race to 85 for realm firsts. If anyone manages to pull it off, please share a screenshot of your accomplishment (and your Feat of Strength) with me and I’ll put it up. Give those shifty Rets and Holys what-for.
Moreover, please share any other leveling tips you might think of in the comments. Anything you might have picked up from the beta or elsewhere which can make your fellow prot pallies’ lives easier during the grind!