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The Latisha Experiment


Yes, that's a rolling pin.  Deadmines FTW.

Yes, that's a rolling pin. Deadmines FTW.

This charming young lass you see before you–all nineteen years and six-foot-one of her–is Latisha Morganson, youngest daughter of highly successful Stormwind merchant and all-around dick Robert Morganson.  Latisha was thrown out of her father’s house one rainy night when she refused to go along with an arranged marriage to another merchant noble thirty years and a hundred pounds her senior.  She ended up on the doorstep at Northshire Abbey, where they took her in.  She showed no aptitude with the Light, no ability with the arcane, and she was too clumsy to be a rogue…but she was a tall, healthy, and fairly strong girl, if a bit soft and flabby.  So they taught her a little bit about how to stab people with swords and bash their heads in with maces and then sent her out into the world to do things like kill kobold vermin and decapitate Defias.  Surprisingly, despite a lifetime sitting around in the Stormwind Park lusting over studly guardsmen, attending fancy balls, and generally leading a life of leisure, it turned out that she wasn’t too bad at it.

Latisha is my latest alt.  And she’s also an experiment.  See, when I originally started writing my guides, primarily the So You Want to Be a Prot Warrior series, I was writing them without any practical experience of leveling a Protection warrior in the world of post-3.0 World of Warcraft.  Linedan leveled from 1 to 60 four years ago–he started in March of 2005 as best as I recall, and hit 60 sometime around August.  For most of that way, except the last few levels, he was Arms or Fury.  Then in Burning Crusade, I wibbled back and forth between a few different specs, again mostly DPS, before getting him to 70 and settling him in as a tank because friends were starting up a Karazhan run, needed an offtank, and I knew I couldn’t do it as DPS spec.  The only leveling experience I have as Prot, other than 57 through 60, was 70-80 in Northrend…and as we all know, the Protection tree now is nothing like it was back in the day.

So I figured, y’know, if I’m going to tell people how to build a Prot warrior and get them to 80–and if people are going to be gullible enough to believe me–I’d damn well better make sure that I’m not full of crap.  Hence, Latisha.

Latisha is currently level 21, and spec’d 0/0/12, right out of the SYWTBAPW guides.  I plan to strictly follow my talent guide all the way up as far as I get her–might be 80, might not.  We’ll see.  She is, I readily admit, somewhat twinked, with me sending her money from Beltar as needed (hence my half-assed “rich family” RP justification).  Although in total, the expense hasn’t been that bad–no more than about 40 gold, and she’s got 20 on her right now.  She’s also had a lovely guardian angel paladin run her through the Deadmines (in record time, may I add) and as a result, she’s got a few very good bits of kit that will hold her for a few more levels…including Cookie’s Tenderizer (see above), Smite’s Reaver, Rhahk’Zor’s Hammer, and the quest reward pants for turning in Van Cleef’s noggin.

The biggest thing I’m having to get used to as I level her is the incredible lack of rage generation.  That’s endemic to all warriors at lower levels, but it’s worse with a 1-hand + shield setup, and Charge only generating 9 rage at low ranks.  I’m used to tanking on Linedan where rage is, largely, a non-issue because he’s getting rocked so incredibly hard.  On Latisha, it’s more like “chop…chop…oh look, I can Thunder Clap now…chop…chop…Battle Shout…chop…chopzzzzz…”

That having been said, despite the fact she kills slowly, some of the survivability of the Prot spec is already showing through, even at low level.  She can wade into camps of three or four equal-level mobs and with some luck, if there aren’t too many casters, pull it off.  One thing that I knew instinctively, but is still shocking to see in action, is that it’s quite possible to do more damage in Defensive Stance than in Battle Stance, because new-and-improved 3.x Revenge hits so damn hard.  At level 21, it hits for close to 100 damage, and she’s guaranteed at least one, usually two, when she uses Shield Block.  With the damage penalty for Defensive Stance now only 5%, it’s even more viable to use it to grind, switching out only to Charge into combat.  (This requires using Shield Bash to slow down runners, which can be tricky with the 12-second cooldown…miss or get it dodged/parried/blocked, and you’re in trouble.)

She’s now in Menethil, where she will be slogging her way through the Wetlands for a few levels before heading back south to Lakeshire and Duskwood and the level 24+ quests there that she’s not quite ready to handle at 21.  All in all, I’ve found leveling her as Prot to be no worse–and in some ways better–than leveling other alts.  It’s not just for masochists anymore, that’s for sure.

I’ll be giving more updates on how she’s doing out in the world as she levels.

11 responses

  1. Awesome! I’ve been following your series myself, although my warrior is stalled at level 18 at the moment waiting for guildies to get a healer caught up to his level because I really want to have him tank Wailing Caverns himself and not just get run through. He’s sort of semi-twinked also, weilding a blue level 16 mace that I bought on the AH, and gets armor upgrades every level from the AH as well.

    June 17, 2009 at 12:48

  2. Annie Mae is also prot specced, and though the stancedance to get from charge to def stance is a little annoying, after hotkeying them I discovered that the charge +rage buff happens when you /hit the mob/ – NOT when you hit the button.

    Hit charge, switch on the way there, instant rage, BLAM! SHIELD MEET FASE!

    Esp. fun on a female gnome.

    Twinking is probably somewhat necessary though (or at least desirable), at least regarding your MH/Shield – like any other melee person, the better your weapons, the easier life is in general.

    Oh – and you let me know when she’s ready for Stockades, and we’ll go do the whole thing in three pulls. :)

    June 17, 2009 at 13:50

    • What I’ve been trying to do with Latisha is swing by the AH every time I’m back in Stormwind to train her, and just do a quick check of the various weapon and armor categories I’m interested in. I twink on the cheap; I don’t spend lots of money. People are doing crazy stuff on Feathermoon like putting level 16 “of the Bear” green gloves up for 16 gold, or a level 21 green for 75g. It’s ridiculous, and I’m not going to spend that kind of money on gear that will last me one or two nights of play at the most. The biggest single purchase I’ve made on her so far was 8 gold, and that was for a 16-slot bag.

      You let me know when Annie’s ready for her next blender (Sunken Temple?), and I’ll grab Beltar and we’ll do the whole thing in…uh…a LOT more than three pulls. It’s still a minimum of an hour to do everything (maybe more if you stop to skin all the skinnables) but at least I know how to get around in there now. Finally. After four years.

      June 17, 2009 at 14:04

  3. The only “solution” I’ve found to early prot rage generation is to simply pull more groups. Not sure what you were using prior to the rolling pin but weapon level can also effect your rage generation a lot.

    June 17, 2009 at 14:13

  4. I’ve recently dusted off a Forsaken 35 Warrior on Arathor named Ersia and had fun checking out prot spec on a low level, and woweeeeeee the rage generation hurts. As you said, stab stab OOO THUNDERCLAP stab stab swing stab miss, shield bash, etc.

    I do live an ungodly amount of time compared to other specs, and with the cooldowns available to me, rarely die. Tons of fun. I should try the other specs just to see, but I <3 prot.

    June 17, 2009 at 14:32

    • You just hit on the other thing I’ve noticed…the misses. I’d forgotten what it’s like to run on a warrior that’s not stacking about 240 hit rating and 24 expertise, and is consistently fighting stuff 1-2 levels over her. So many misses, dodges, and parries.

      Tarsus’ advice upthread is the best for rage generation, basically, just pull more mobs. It’s all a time juggle, really…finding the best balance between downtime and killing time. You’ll kill continuously when fighting singles, but it’s slower and kind of boring. You’ll grind down packs more efficiently, but probably have to stop and eat afterward.

      June 17, 2009 at 14:40

  5. Verdus

    An… Alliance toon?

    I don’t know you anymore, man…
    :P

    June 18, 2009 at 08:17

    • Dude, I’ve had a dwarf hunter for going on four years now. Now just shut up, stand there, and heal me.

      PS: WITH ONE TOWER

      June 18, 2009 at 08:20

      • Verdus

        *grumblegrumble*
        /cast Rejuv
        >_<

        June 21, 2009 at 00:45

  6. Trijem

    Since I always wanted a warrier I created one 4 weeks ago and spent every free minute (read: not-raid-time) to pull her (also human femal, that warrior-quest-chest looked so sexy let alone some of the pants [more like g-strings]) through every instance there is up to 70 just 4 days ago (played time 6 days and 22 minutes ^^). I have 2 accounts … The first time ever on a char I managed to get the entire dungeon-set, not the one with set-bonus but the one who shares the same style and more importantly like 2-3 gem-slots on each item – mind you it took me 63 instance-runs to collect it (17 runs alone for the belt from ramparts). In between instance-runs I quested with her mostly for instance-quests and some leather/ore-farming. She got no gold from my mains (besides being pulled through instances) and after training epic-riding and normal flying still has 2k gold.
    Anyway, my blacksmith made her the kobaltset and with 2 defense-trinkets/neck/back and Blackout Truncheon with defense-gems she sits at 520 def at lvl70. Have you checked the loot-tables of normal nordrend-dungeons lately? Even tho I leveled 2 tanks from 70 to 80 I didn’t notice that there are like no tank-drops, only quest-rewards.
    My revenge quite often hits for 2100 and slam for 1800 (oh and warbringer is indeed a gift, byebye charge-stance-dance). Rage is still an issue.
    Unfortunately she sat in the tavern for the last days because of midsummer but she will get most of my attention this weekend maybe even tanking her first instance.

    June 26, 2009 at 08:47

  7. Pingback: Warriors and You: Levelling as Prot – Part 1 « WTB Rage – Musings of a Troll

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