Monday, August 31, 2009

Hamsalad Turns 50!

Of the 41 toons called "Hamsalad" in the WoW universe that appear in the Armory, I have one. He is a blood elf priest and yesterday he turned level 50! It's been no picnic, and while Shadowform is cool, it really does limit your rotation to maddeningly boring levels. But that said, this actually feels like one of the bigger accomplishments I've had in the game in a while, bringing a priest up this high, and made me look back at my in game history, which isn't much (nor is it distinguished).

I have always been a step or two behind-the-times regarding WoW as evidenced by the fact that I didn't even start playing until the release of Burning Crusade. My first toon was a human paladin called Barallas (default generated name), which I brought up to 55 before deleting him with the idea of doing it all over again "properly" now that I had some basic knowledge of the game mechanics. So, leveled a new pally called Mikeadin up to the level cap of 70 (this was when I was afraid of giving my real name to WoW players, paranoid guy I was). Mikeadin still exists, after spending a solid year on a bender in Booty Bay I finally sent him back to Stormwind for some rehab this weekend.

Anyway, during the time I was leveling the second pally most good/hardcore/long-term players were burning out on Kara, and I learned I was on a Pacific time zone server, while I was in New Jersey on the east coast, so finding people with similar schedules was tough when I finally did hit 70. So to pass the boredom I decided to roll a horde toon, and I took the training wheels route with a beast master hunter.

I got the hunter to 70 a solid month after Wrath's release, and so was behind the 8-ball again in terms of getting to Northrend. My horde guild, Sons of Horus, had gone from being a regular raiding guild, to a barren third-tier social guild for leveling with the defection of some major players to other guilds, including one of the old GMs. Originally founded by ex-military members and loved for it's no bullshit/no begging mentality, it sort of devolved a bit as recruiting restrictions eased.

I leveled the hunter up to 80 and left Sons of Horus on good terms (left a few lowbie alts there since it was a good guild to level in) to join Rage of the Horde, which was an active raiding guild. Almost immediately after joining Rage a bunch of the best raiders left to found Bloodmoon. Being a new 80, and being two months behind everyone else, I was not among the best raiders.

I went back to Sons of Horus, which was picking up steam again under an involved new GM. We even picked up some alliances with Knights of Thorn and Gnomes for Breakfast and were raiding again. Things were going well, but an illness to the GM and disruptions to the schedule forced players eager to raid to defect to other, more active guilds. And that's when I turned to Hamsalad.

Having my hunter buy him some shoulders and a chest piece for extra xp has been wonderful. The new riding rules have also been fantastic for leveling, although when I hit level 40 I was surprised to fondly remember the feeling of getting a mount on my first toon at level 40, and what an accomplishment that was while at the same time I was plunking down gold for an epic chicken for the priest!

So with all these xp buffs and mounts available I'm certainly taking a much easier route than the priests that have come before me. I give them much respect now when I'm in Dalaran on my hunter. Overall this experience with the priest has been great thus far. It has even made me appreciate the dps my hunter did while leveling a lot more!