Sunday, June 27, 2010

Leveling a Mining Alt

I've been wanting to drop Mining in favor of Blacksmithing for a while now. This switch would make my two professions Jewelcrafting and Blacksmithing.

I have a little theory that having extra (34-20) * 3 = 42 Armor Penetration from specialty Jewelcrafting gems, and extra 20 * 2 = 40 Armor Penetration from specialty Blacksmithing abilities (socket bracer, socket gloves) for a whopping +82 to Armor Pen is doing to give my DPS a nice buff, especially considering that ArP's benefit is exponential when stacked.

I have not min/maxed this theory with other professions, like Skinning (+40 Crit) or Engineering (+340 haste/12 sec proc on gloves). It would seem that the crit bonus is a small DPS boost to both MM and SV specs, while haste from engineering helps to pimp your rapid fires machine-gun style. However, when I raided as Survival with 251-264 iLevel gear, my Critical Strike Rating was already above 70% when raid buffed, so I'm not sure how valuable that extra +40 crit would be. As an Armor Pen-stacking Marksman, I could certainly use more crit as I am hovering around 50% mark.

Overall, though, I think the decision to drop Mining was a winner due to negligent raid DPS contribution +60 stamina from Mining was giving me.

The only problem is that I want to be able to cash in on the mining materials rush during the first days of Cataclysm. As everyone is racing to 85 to experience new content, I could be leveling at my own pace while picking up new ores and leveling Mining. I actually loved little breaks I took during questing to enjoy short detours when the minimap lit up with those yellow dots. The game certainly demonstrated over and over again that within a few weeks of introduction of new materials, the prices are insane.

Well, a guildie suggested that I level an alt. I am very anti-alt because I cannot image re-grinding all those quests all over again. They are all so ... "kill x of this, y of this, bring it to me, repeat"-booooring. My hunter is my only toon other than a couple of lowbie city mules. Nonetheless, I rolled a Death Knight and ... was pleasantly surprised by my leveling experience.

First of all, Blizzard made so many quality of life improvements with this class I could not actually believe it at first. The quests are simple and serve as a fantastic tutorial to the class. You get introduced to a large chunk of the introductory Ebon Blade lore -- although tenuous, it's still interesting. You get all flight points in the Old World. You get close to 50 talent points after several quest chains. You get a free mount. Before you know it, you're level 58 and ready to go to Outland. It literally felt like I put in no effort at all and the game played itself.

So now my hunter is a JC and a Blacksmith, my DK is flying around Outland and leveling his mining for both Cataclysm and to fuel my hunter's insatiable need for ore, and I'm wondering why in the hell mithril is so prohibitively expensive on AH.

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