Northrend, so far

Like many others, I’ve spent many hours diving into the Northrend content. I’m level 77, and just picked up Cold Weather Flying last night.  At this point, I really feel like I’ll have another 5 or 6 levels of questing content left once I hit 80 – even more than in TBC.

So far, I’ve run Utguarde Keep (I lost count how many times), The Nexus, Azjol-Narub three times, the Old Kingdom twice, Drak’Tharon once, and Violet Hold twice. I’m very much looking forward to Gun’Drak very soon – just a matter of getting the group out there, much easier to justify since we can now fly out.

I’ve leveled through the Fjord, Dragonblight, and most of Grizzly Hills. I just completed the Questing Achievement for The Hills, but will probably finish up the last few quests this evening, and I’ll probably go back and pick up a few Tundra quests before everyone gets on.

I expect that we will completly skip Zul’Drak while leveling, and then pick it up at 80. I’d do it once the Hills are done, but we’re already at the upper end of the level range, and I really need access to the the better mining nodes. Once I hit 77, my first step will be to start working on my Sons of Hodir rep, but then I’ll likely head over to The Basin for a while.

I have outleveled much of my friends list, so I will probably also try to go back and hit a few of the earlier instances again – more to connect with people, than for the runs themselves. I have, as expected, replaced a fair amount of my gear. Most of the new pieces were very small upgrades, but just enough to make it worth throwing enchants on them.

Jewelcrafting is still great. I got to Dalaran Saturday afternoon, and started on the Daily JC Quests. These award tokens are in turn used to buy patterns and gems. I am still trying to decide what my first purchase will be, but I’m leaning towards one of the epic tanking ring or necklace patterns. Those require Frozen Orbs (the new Primal Nether), but I will need one of each, and I presume that other tanks will as well. I’m hoping to start working on Heroics by the start of next week and should have access to the Orbs then. I am holding off on picking up the “rare” patterns from the vendor. At the moment, I can’t see most people dropping the gold for those far more expensive gems, and most of the leveling gear doesn’t even have sockets.

In all, I’m really enjoying Wrath so far. I loved my time in the beta, but this is different: a bit more focused, a lot less buggy. I am very much looking forward to hitting 80, and spending time diving into the Heroics. The leveling instances have been a lot of fun, but I’m starting to crave something that is more of a challenge – and I’m hopeful that Heroics will provide that.

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