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Friday, April 28th, 2006
1:44p - [WoW] Druid
A couple of weeks ago, I started a new character, a Tauren druid named Marendyn. Some highlights of her first 25 levels:


I really like the druid-specific quests I've seen so far. The bear form quest in particular is very nice and moving.


Her first pickup group for the Ragefire Chasm instance was awful. Two rogues, a hunter, and a warlock, most of whom were lower-level than recommended for the instance. And then, the hunter took a rogues' suggestion to abandon his pet and tame one of the worms in the instance, only to discover that they weren't tameable. So the only tanking we had was the warlock's voidwalker. I figured that the group was doomed, but I didn't want to let teammates down. But after the third total party kill against the first group of troggs, I felt entirely relieved when the warlock said he had to leave.

Later that day, I joined up with another group for Ragefire Chasm. This looked like a pretty good group, with a mage, a rogue, and a shaman, all about level 16 or so. But then we were joined by a level 40 warlock who was cleaning up old quests. This meant that I was usually unable to close to melee range with targets before they were dead. It was better than the first teamup, because it was very fast, I got all the quests done, and no one died. But it wasn't very satisfying.

After that, I got into a teamup with Deerali, the mage from the second Ragefire Chasm run. He and I made an awesome team. When I was level 18 and he was level 16, we took on a level 22 creature (Lakota'mani) and prevailed, even though a level 19 stormsnout joined the fight. We were able to take on four bristleback quillboars our level at once and prevail.


A few days later, I went looking for a group for Wailing Caverns. (A previous foray had fizzled after one of the bosses.) The meeting stone paid off well; I got into a group with several people who were polite, friendly, and spelled out "you". Most of the folks were level 20-22, but there was one level 27 hunter along. The initial composition was me, a rogue, a mage, a hunter, and a priest, so I started out tanking. Unfortunately, the priest had to drop out fairly early. So I offered to switch to healing to see if we could make it a bit farther. With me healing and the hunter's pet tanking, The four of us managed to complete the whole thing, including the finale. (Having good crowd control really helped; the mage could polymorph one opponent, and I could hibernate another.)

So then after that successful run, the mage Foshaam invited me to come along on a Blackfathom Deeps run with his guild. This was very attractive to me, because with four previous characters, I'd only managed to go into Blackfathom Deeps once, and that had fizzled. I was level 23 at this point (though the lowest-level member of the party), but the group (two druids, hunter, mage, and priest) managed to get all the way to the end, including killing level 28 elites. Unfortunately, we wiped on the final boss Aku'mai, because the priest lagged out. Even so, it was a great run. (But two longish instances in one evening is definitely a lot.)

My teammates invited me to join their guild, the Bloodmoon Clan. I declined, but suggested that a guild alliance would be worth pursuing.

When I logged on the next day, I immediately got invited to a party of Bloodmoon folks, and one of the first remarks I heard on party chat was "Yes, I see that Marendyn has logged on. You don't all have to point it out and suggest inviting her." I felt very appreciated. It was very gratifying.

Since then, I've teamed up with the Bloodmoon folks several times, and in my role as guild leader, I've tried to develop an alliance between our guild and theirs. I don't feel able to invite them to our chat channel until more Allseekers have met them and agreed with my good impression of them, but the Bloodmoons have invited us to their chat channel, and I'm satisfied with how things are progressing. (Another gratifying remark from those discussions: "True, we haven't met your guildmates, but we like you so much that we can't imagine you hanging out with people we wouldn't like.")


In my teen levels, I spent a lot of time in bear form. I discovered to my pleasant surprise that I enjoy tanking and I'm pretty good at it. I started thinking "hmm, maybe my next character should be a warrior".

At level 20, I learned cat form, and I've been working on developing my skills with stealth. It wasn't easy for a level or two, but I've been getting much better. (Though my practice area was sneaking through the kobolds in the Boulderslide Mine, which are densely populated and respawn often. It was a very challenging way to start.)

Stealth has changed my style for solo quests; I find myself trying to use stealth to kill a minimum number of targets for a quest. For example, for the quest to kill the Razormane leaders for the Tribes at War quest, I managed to stealth my way through and only kill the three named leaders, and I felt very pleased. It makes playing a rogue seem much more attractive.


Teamed up on Wednesday with one of the Bloodmoons in Thousand Needles, with similar successes. Our best moment: with me at 26 and her at 28, we got jumped by the level-30 Steelsnap and his pack of two level-29 hyenas--and we prevailed.


One nice thing about grinding in cat form: there's very little down time. Energy recharges quickly, and mana is usually available, since you're mostly in cat form. So when health does run down, switch back to caster form, cast a heal, and switch back to cat form for more killing.

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