Gettin' Jiggy with the Shammies

Oh god, that title isn't dating me at all.  I was considering some variation of ShamWoW, but slapped myself and moved on in the nick of time.

Over the past two weeks since the arrival of the Dwarfling, I have been getting the Alt-itch.  You know the one; it's the itch you get when your main is geared up enough that nothing but raiding drops will help and you're looking for something else to do.  This feeling actually comes at a good time, since as I expected my play time has become much more restricted than before and I don't have as much time as I'd like to devote to heroics or extra raids.  I hear that they're working on an ointment to cure this, but it's not ready yet and all you can do as of now is to scratch it.

So this past Sunday, I asked the Twitterati which alt I should focus on:  The Dwarf Shaman or a Druid.  The replies were mixed.  It didn't get all that ugly, but do you ever get the feeling that if you put one hundred Druid players in the same room with one hundred Shaman players that eventually a no-holds-barred knife fight would break out?  We healers are a passionate bunch, aren't we?

In the end, to nobody's surprise, the Dwarf Shammie won the day.  You have read the title of this blog, right?

Thallie, looking badass in her mismatched heirloom gear.
This is Thallie, my newest and cutest dwarven battle medic.  She was created as soon as 4.03 dropped and the world changed, but has been languishing a little bit as I have been leveling and gearing my Paladin.  I took up the call of the elements and spent a little time leveling her on Sunday.

Oh, and just because I'm a little nuts, I've decided to level her as restoration.

The original plan was to level her through dungeons as a healer.  As an unrepentant Wrath Baby, I did not get the chance to see a lot of these dungeons at the level they were meant to be seen; either I soloed them at max level or was run through them by guildies while leveling.  The desire to see these dungeons and run through them as they were meant to be seen is very strong and would be a fun way to level.

The major drawback of leveling through dungeons and the thing that is really bugging me is that I am going to miss all of the lovely new quests that Blizzard has created for us.  I really enjoyed the changes to Dun Morogh  and Loch Modan and I am really torn about missing a large chunk of the rest of the zones.  The experience gains in dungeons are amazing and even with a mix of questing and dungeon running I'll end up out-leveling the zones extremely quickly.  I've run her through three dungeons now, pretty much doing levels 14 through 21 without questing at all and in doing so I completely outleveled Loch Modan and had to dump most of the quests and move to Duskwood (also as recommended by my Twitter peeps).

Riding into Darkshire took me back, however, since I was immediately ganked by a party of level 85 asshats burning down the town.  I've never understood what makes that fun, honestly.

Anyway, the low level dungeons are a lot of fun, even though there is not a great deal of healing required in them.  During the Wailing Caverns run that I did on Sunday I spent more time dealing damage than I did healing, letting Earth Shield do most of the healing work.  I had never been in that instance before, so it felt really good to see some "new" dungeon content.

By the way I am really a terrible DPSer.  Just plain awful.  "Please, Mr. Tank, take some damage so that I don't look like I'm being completely carried through this dungeon!"

I think in the end I'm going to end up doing a vast majority of dungeon leveling where I can squeeze in the time to do it.  The questing will naturally come when I either don't have time to do an instance, or while I'm waiting for the dungeon finder to get a group together for me.  But I just have to accept that with this plan I am not going to get the full story that is being told in each of the zones.  The lore nerd in me cries as the prospect, but that's the price for quick leveling, I suppose.

How do you level your Alts?  Do you prefer LFD leveling or questing?  Or are Alts something that you don't have time for?

I would like to give a special shout-out to Mylindara of  the Crimson Blades guild on Sargeras for helping me out with the screenshot featured in this post.  I was stuck at work with no access to the wow armory and he was good enough to grab it for me.  Check out his blog Cleansing Waters at http://mylindara.crimsonblades.info/.  


  1. Aww what a cute lil shammie! :D Have fun leveling her! I usually quest with my alts, however my recent project is a holy paly. She leveled until the LFD que is available and I plan to level her that way. Good luck. :)

  2. You should be leveling enhancement D:

    As for alts, I'm an altoholic. I have 3 85s and an 83, plus numerous lowbies :)

    My shaman is the only decently geared one, though. As for leveling, I usually just quest. It's faster.

  3. Yess dwarf shammy! One of these days I'll make my own :>

    I prefer to level my alts through questing. It's partially because I hate waiting and don't like relying on other people to get things done (yes I know, not very MMO-like) and also because I'm not used to using my dps/tanking capabilities in a group situation. I figured out how to heal in a group despite being a complete noob to MMOs, but it took so much preparation and work to get my main perfected that when it comes to alts I just run around whacking/casting at things and completing quests. Much less stress that way :)

  4. I feel, especially considering it's your first Alt of the new expansion, that you should go for the mix. That way you get to experience the majority of the new content and fill your needs as quests lead you into dungeons. Plus it will help prevent that burned out feeling. I don't see any need to rush in your case,

    Plus it leaves content for you to visit and level through if you decide finale again :)

    - Jamin

  5. Shamans are great fun :D

    I generally prefer questing to dungeon running. In the past, I've only run dungeons when I had quests for them or if I wanted a level or two quickly so that I could handle a tough quest more easily or skip part of a zone entirely.

    I decided I wanted to try tanking with my Tauren Paladin, so I threw her into LFD as soon as she hit level 15 -- which she accomplished by doing Mulgore and Durotar both, so she's not done anything in Northern Barrens and has now outleveled it. I'm a bit sad about that, because I really would like to explore the revised zones and storylines with at-level characters. I guess I'll just have to spec my Tauren Priest Disc instead of Holy (something about Shadow Priest + Tauren just does not feel right to me) so that she can quest through New Kalimdor.

  6. you can always turn off XP gain before you queue up for some dungeons - that way you get both the quests and the on-level dungeons.

    (and do give Enh a try. *g*)

  7. I've found, after leveling a number of toons to various levels, leveling via instancing was really fun and seems quick and easy. My second holy pally, also named Endyme (I call her Endy 2.0 to avoid confusion), has leveled almost entirely in instances and it just felt like less effort. I queue up, wait not TOO horribly long (cause she's a healer, not DPS), and poof! I get XP, a chance at nice gear, and get eperience hea....well, ok, not so much on that last one. It's, for me, a nice change of pace from doing the same quests AGAIN. I know alot changed in the Shattering, but I'm just not much of a questing type.

    It helps me feel more fearless when pugging, too. On Endy 2.0, heck, I'll try anything! Woo! On Original Endy, I'm generally a bit scared to do an instance for the first time on her, and PuG on my own? Oooh, I dunno...

    And I agree, alts are perfect for when you main is descently geared and you don't know how much time you have to spare when you DO log on. I get the alt itch every once and awhile myself. I like having a project to work on when I don't feel like doing anything on my main.

  8. @Mirandinn: Yes, she is rather adorable, isn't she? I don't normally play female characters, but just for the hell of it I hit Randomize on her features and there she was, absolutely perfect. She actually reminds me of my wife, except...erm... bouncier if you catch my drift.

    Gneisha: I'm tempted to level enchancement, at least for questing. And I'm certain that I will spec into it once dual spec becomes available. I am comfortable with healing in instances, though, and I figure that if I plan to raid as a Shaman at some point, it's a good idea to get really familiar with the spells and healing style as I level.

    redcow: Dwarf shammy was the thing I was most excited about when Cataclysm was announced. She was the first toon that I created after the patch dropped.

    I am a notoriously slow leveller when it comes to questing. I never do things in the most efficient way possible, and it seems like it takes forever. Instances are a nice, compact gameplay session that feels like it gives significant progress very quickly, which is, of course, the whole appeal.

    Jamin: Given the queue times, I will no doubt be forced into a mix of play-styles, so I'm sure I'll see some of the new quests. I think once I hit WPL and EPL I'll focus more on questing because I've always been a fan of those zones and I am really excited to see the changes in them.

    Anonymous: Yes, I certainly could turn off XP gains, but that kinda defeats the purpose of levelling a character. :) There will be other alts... I still have a Druid that I want to level.

    Endyme: Yes, I agree with everything you wrote there. I enjoy questing, but I feel like it takes too long compared to instancing.