Another level 80 in the family 🙂 .
Tinuviel’s pet Druid, Anelf, finally dinged 80 last weekend. This means the end of Anelf’s Boomkin leveling spec, and the return of the mild-mannered Resto Druid. Being a Boomkin again was fun while it lasted. It reminded me of times gone bye – before I gave in to the inevitable and became a healer. But I do prefer raiding as a healer. Its a very different challenge from DPSing. (And it doesn’t hurt that its a lot easier for a healer to get a raid slot 🙂 ).
The downside is that grinding is like watching paint dry. Its hard to kill a Resto Druid, but its also hard for a Resto Druid to kill. Roll on dual speccing, which I understand is slated for patch 3.1.
After attending her Coming of Age party in Dalaran, Anelf went off to retrain and equip the end-game-raid-ready gear she’s been knitting for herself and buying from the AH. Then it was time to try out all those new Resto Druid spells in her first Northrend instance.
We chose the Culling of Stratholme (normal difficulty) because it has a good range of loot, and our pally tank knows the place like the back of his hand from grinding the original Stratholme instance for a fancy horse. The team was Entrigan (Prot Pally), Carys (Fire Mage), Anelf (Resto Druid), Tinuviel (BM Hunter), and Dollarbill (BM Hunter).
The highlight of the run was that Dollar arrived at the instance with his new pet – a Spirit Beast. He’d been camping in Sholazar for three days before he finally found it to tame. (I suspect that was one of the shorter Spirit Beast camping trips. And he’d kept quiet about it, so it really was a surprise). So this was going to be our first-hand experience of a Spirit Beast in action. Tin is running instances with her level 80 Wolf (called Hamfast) while she levels her cat up to 80.
Stratholme itself was an interesting run. We’ve always enjoyed the Caverns of Time instances and their attention to the ‘historical’ detail (q.v. Herod the Bully in Southshore). But what was remarkable for me was how trivially easy it was. I’d been worried I’d let the group down learning the very different Druid healing rotations (and dealing with my suddenly finite mana pool), but that wasn’t an issue at all. I think it was for the second boss that I ended the fight with 90% mana, having taken no potions and not having to use Innervate. The only problem I had was when I wandered out ot line-of-sight of Entrigan during the third boss fight. (I probably shouldn’t say that since Ent sometimes reads this blog 🙂 ). And it does help to have a well-geared tank to heal.
Tin and Dollar are quite similarly specced, so it was interesting to compare the Spirit Beast with Hamfast the Wolf. Unfortunately, Tin didn’t save her Recount scores, but she noticed on the night that the Spirit Beast was destroying the Wolf on DPS for the boss fights. (Total damage output for Tin and Dollar was pretty much the same). Obviously, its not really fair to compare party members’ DPS without considering group buffs. (The Wolf was buffing the whole party with its Furious Howl). Even so, the Spirit Beast looks particularly powerful – and this is before it gets the promised buffing up in patch 3.0.8.