Yeah yeah, quest rewards provide better XP than anything else while levelling. So what? I've seriously walked through Jame's alliance levelling guide I don't know how many times from 20-30, and I just hate having to go from one spot to another to another and turn quests in chunks at a time.
I like my slow painful grind. I like staying in one place and killing a billion things at once. I like having passers-by stop in their tracks as you perform your elaborate dance. I like making oodles of money from cloths, skins, and greens.
With the change in 3.0.2, we have ourselves a few things that completely change the AoE grinding process. For the better, of course. Three things come to mind:
- The removal of the natural 1% miss rate. As long as you group up with mobs at your level or lower, you will never whiff a Frost Nova on a random mob in that group. You will never ever go "OH SH-" and scramble for the Cold Snap button.
- Reconfiguration of the talent tree. Some good AoE talents come a lot sooner than usual, and some require less points to max out. With this adjustment, you can have a really good baseline talent set-up to grind with as early as level 25. At higher levels, introduction of talents that further increase your snare will result in even more control over your mobs. I'll explain what those talents are later.
- The ability to crit with Blizzard. Holy crap, this is what will make me AoE my way to level 80, with dungeons and instances on the side. Now that Blizzard can crit, you will NEED to put talent points into spells that increase your crit chance and damage.
A combination of the three points above, it is now much easier and smoother to go through the motions of the Blizzard sequence, and your damage capabilities can shoot REAL high.
AoE Levelling Build: 10-27
It was an omen, I suppose, that when the patch hit, the only functional realm that I could access was Wimzig's. He surely has been neglected somewhat with his levelling, but I suppose that in between making acquaintances with Bre's guild, levelling up with Leyola, and my raiding schedule with Bashertin, there wasn't much time.
That's besides the point though. I am now presented with an opportunity to do what I've always wanted to do with Wimzig; AoE grind. I already have a plan set up with his talents as he goes through the motions once again. Here's what I plan on doing.
10-12: 3/3 Ice Floes. Shortened cooldown on your Frost Nova is more important for AoE grinding in the long run than Improved Frostbolt. At these levels, your cast time is pretty short anyways, so it's not such a big deal.
13-14: 2/5 Improved Frostbolt. If you don't like the cast time on your frostbolt, you can switch this with Ice floes, but only take 2 points here, since you're going straight to the second tier at level 15.
15-17: 3/3 Permafrost. At this point, all you should care about is single-mob kiting. This really helps in that regard.
18-20: 3/3 Ice Shards. The crit is pretty good, but you won't see it too much for now. This is just in preparation for when you start grinding it out.
21-23: 3/3 Improved Blizzard. Technically, you could start grinding at this point, but I seriously doubt you have the sufficient Intellect and Stamina to do so, unless you've been buying out "of the Eagle" gear at the AH.
24: 1/3 Piercing Ice. We need one more point to get into shatter, and then BAM! it's paradise city from here on out.
25-27: 3/3 Shatter. Once this talent is maxed, you are essentially good to go with your blizzing with this resulting spec. From here on out, grab all talents that help increase your abilities to AoE grind, including:
- Arctic Reach
- Frost Channeling
- Cold Snap
- Winter's Chill (even more crits!)
- Cold as Ice
- ICE BARRIER (very important!)
- Shattered Barrier (optional. I myself will have to see how this goes, to see how easy it is to control when your barrier pops. Most likely, this will involve waiting a bit for the cooldown before starting the pull.)
- Water Elemental/Improved Water Elemental (Free ranged freezing effect ftw!)
- Chilled to the Bone
In a future edition of this series, I'll flesh this out in more detail, depending on how the grinding goes.
Maybe if I get off my butt and start levelling Wimzig again (in between NaNoWriMo, Leyola, and raiding with Bashertin), I can provide even more information with first-hand experience at the lower levels. My plans for this series of posts regarding AoE in the new WoW will hopefully include:
- 3.0.x grinding pre-Wrath at 70
- levelling build from 28-80
- choice grinding spots, as well as commentary regarding those spots
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