Thursday, May 6, 2010

Project Tauren Shaman Part One - Overview and Intro

The Primary Goal: Level to 80 with a horde toon before cataclysm comes out. The world is going to change and I've only experienced Azeroth, Outland and Northrend from the eyes of Alliance toons. Now is the time to experience Horde content before the world changes permanently.

The Secondary Goal: To accumulate as much gold as possible on my journey to 80. I will be selling everything profitable in the Auction House, while trying to rely only on quest rewards and random drops for gear. If at all possible I would like to avoid spending money on anything but repairs and training.

The Race Selection: Tauren. What else can I say other than I have always wanted a tauren toon?

The Class Selection: Shaman. Right now (as in pre-cataclysm) taurens can only be hunters, warriors, death knights, druids and shaman. Why did I pick shaman?

The death knight defeats the whole purpose of this experiment so it's obviously eliminated from my choice of class.

While I love my level 80 human fury warrior, and few things in the game would be cooler than having a hulking, geared up and plated out tauren warrior barreling towards my opponents in PvP, I have to pass on leveling another warrior. With no crowd control or self healing abilities until much higher levels it can be a very frustrating grind. I don't want to be bogged down with time consuming corpse runs, nor do I want to waste money and bag space on healing pots. Not to mention repairs get pretty pricey later on, which could sabotage my money-making goals.

Hunter was a very appealing choice as it's my favorite class in the game and I have a lot of experience playing as one, so leveling would be fast and easy. But I want to try something new. Enough said.

Druid is also out. I've tried leveling druids before and I just can't seem to get into it. Though I do have a level 40ish druid somewhere, I rarely play him. Maybe one day I'll get him leveled to 80, but I definitely don't want to do it twice.

So shaman it is, and here's why:

1) Shaman is the only class I've never experienced beyond level 10. I want to experience something refreshing and new.

2) I want the ability to queue for random dungeons as a healer to minimize wait times. Healing myself and others while leveling will be nice as well.

3) It will give me a chance to get some shaman experience under my belt as I plan to roll a goblin shaman come cataclysm. Having some knowledge on how to play the shaman class properly will allow me to focus more on the new quests and content cataclysm will bring.

The professions: As my secondary goal is to make as much money as possible I will be picking two gathering professions, mining and herbalism. Not only will I be able to offload everything I mine and pick to the AH for pure profit, but the mining profession stamina bonus will be nice, and the extra free herbalism self-heal lifeblood comes in handy for conserving mana in dungeons (by not wasting mana healing myself) and keeping my health topped off during soloing. Also, taurens have the racial ability of +15 to herbalism so that could minimize instances where I'm in a new zone and can't pick the herbs there because I'm 15 points below the skill level needed to pick them.

Having one or more crafting professions would be nice, sure, but I don't want to spend the time and money required to level them. I will be leveling first aid and cooking however.

The Leveling Process: I will be leveling with a balanced combination of quests, dungeons and PvP battlegrounds. While dungeons are great for speed leveling, I don't want to rely on them too heavily: low level random dungeon reward money is LOUSY compared to questing and I will miss out on a lot of mining and herbalism nodes (aka money). However, I still plan on doing the occasional dungeons to keep myself decently geared in blue quality gear. I will do the odd PvP battleground when quests and dungeons get old and when I'm in the higher end of my current level bracket.

The Realm: My three criteria for picking a realm to play on were simple: it had ad to be PvE realm I have no existing toons on in the MST timezone, with a nearly balanced Horde/Alliance ratio. A quick look on showed that the Doomhammer realm was a good candidate.

The Bank Alt: I'll be rolling a to be announced bank alt to handle the overflowing bags of my tauren, at least until he gets more bag space, as well as managing auction house transactions. Vendoring and auctioning EVERTHING that drops is important for accumulating wealth throughout the leveling process.

The Guild: I'm perfectly fine with leveling to 80 solo. That said, if I end up in a dungeon run with a group of nice people and a guild invite is extended to me, I will consider joining it. Nothing wrong with having a group to do dungeons and group quests with without having to rely on pugs.

The Talent Spec: Enhancement. Based on the little research I've done, leveling as elemental is extremely boring. I'm generally and not a fan of leveling in a healing spec so enhancement it is.

And so, without further ado, I would like to introduce Spirithorn, the level 1 Tauren Shaman!

Stay tuned for Part 2 in which I will progress through the first few levels and chronicle my adventures, experiences and finances!

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