The Latisha Experiment
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.