The Latisha Experiment: Update #2
So when last we left the intrepid Miss Latisha Morganson, late of Stormwind and Northshire Abbey, she had just broken level 39 and was working through various odd jobs in Theramore while resisting the crude advances of Theramore Deserters. That was a bit over two months ago.
And here is Latisha now, resplendent in her twink plate, level 59 as of this morning. (What can I say, I woke up early.) As I expected, the grind post-40 got a bit easier than the grind pre-40. She is still pure Prot, currently 0/0/50, although I did deviate from my own build advice a bit; she’s still got 2/2 Improved Disarm. My plan is to respec her at 60 to the same 0/0/51 build that I reference in the So You Want to Be a Prot Warrior series, dropping Improved Disarm for 5/5 Toughness, and then follow my own advice from there.
I haven’t quite had the guts (or masochism, take your pick) to try tanking a pickup group with her…not that anybody actually gets groups together for old-world instances anymore, sadly. She’s gotten blendered through Zul’farrak to clean up quests for xp, and other than that, she has been leveling the old-fashioned way, solo grinding. Not exactly optimal for a prot warrior, but quite workable. It’s left her gear a tick behind where I’d like it, although it’s certainly not bad. I got lucky and found some crafted Imperial Plate pieces on the AH for reasonable prices, but before that, she didn’t ditch her last piece of mail until somewhere around level 49. Why? Because anything “of the Bear” was commanding triple-digit prices, no matter how crappy it was, and her Raging Berserker’s Helm and Scarlet Leggings were very good pieces of mail armor indeed. Other than that, she’s geared up through quest rewards and a little AH here and there. She’s even rocking an honest-to-Light Belt of Valor, picked up on the AH for a mere 20 gold. Now she’s got something that Linedan never even had. (Oh, and I did break down and spend almost all of Beltar’s Conquest badges on a Polished Breastplate of Valor for her. I hardly ever get to raid on the dorf anymore so I figured why not, he can hang with his Naxx gear for now. Besides, the breastplate’s a lot better looking than the shoulders.)
Particularly past level 50, with Devastate and then Critical Block becoming available, her DPS picked up markedly. No, she’s no mage capable of vaporizing stuff, but then again, there’s certainly nothing wrong with being hard to kill and occasionally being able to produce a 1300+ Shield Slam crit. With her gear optimized for simple strength and stamina, with agility here and there, she has a respectable 12% crit. Yes, she misses a lot still, especially when fighting things over her level, but that just goes with the territory. Hit and expertise gear is almost impossible to find in the 50s (since expertise kinda, y’know, didn’t exist in vanilla).
Bringing her to Outland at level 58 has proven to be a mixed bag. She actually hasn’t died yet, her closest call being in Zeth’gor where she ended up killing two grunts, a wolfrider + wolf, a peon, and a bonecaster + skeletons and came out with exactly 23 health after blowing all cooldowns and using a potion. But she’s really being pushed to the limit. Her agro range at 58-59 means she’s always got an escort of helboars anywhere she goes, and makes working around Zeth’gor problematic as hell, because that place will unload an assist train on you in a heartbeat if you’re not very careful. She misses a ton fighting level 60-61 fel orcs, and forget getting her across the Path of Glory to burn Horde siege engines quite yet. Sure, my DK Moktor blew through Hellfire Peninsula like it was a kiddie ride…but let’s face it, a level 58 DK fresh out of Acherus with a diploma and a full set of blue gear is redonkulously overpowered compared to a level 58 prot warrior with mostly level 52ish greens. My advice to prospective prot warriors is, if you want to try HFP at level 58, go for it, but make extra-sure your gear is up to snuff beforehand. Otherwise you’ll just frustrate yourself.
So sadly, she may have to retreat back through the Dark Portal for a level. That would give me time to complete some quests in the Plaguelands that I want to do, or maybe visit Silithus. (OK, Plaguelands.) It’ll also give me a chance to catch her mining up to where it needs to be. She has picked up enough initial upgrades–sword, pants, shield–that nothing back in the Plaguelands should give her much trouble. And at level 60, I can train the huge amount of new ranks of abilities she gets, plus Shockwave, and be much more ready to face Hellfire Peninsula. Plus I need to get her rested XP built back up, I burned it all leveling her quickly between 54 and 58.
I’m looking forward to leveling her in Outland. It’s been long enough since I leveled a character there–my last was Moktor many months ago–that I’ve gotten over any burnout I suffered with it. I’m going to try and hit some areas that I skipped on Moktor, places like the Bone Wastes, and maybe head to Netherstorm and Shadowmoon instead of just immediately hopping the boat to Northrend at 68…because quite honestly, having gotten four characters through the 70-80 grind in 10 months, and with two more now at 72, I’m fried on Northrend leveling. I really want to see how Prot Warrior v3.0 carves a path through Outland content. I expect it’ll be pretty damn fun.
If you’ve got any questions about her experiences leveling as pure Prot through the 40s and 50s, fire away!