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Monk PVP Leveling

Merculees_22

As you can see, there have been changes with Merculees. Where to start…

Low Level Monk PVP?

After running a few quests in Westfall I decided that Merculees the Shirtless would queue up for some PVP action. I was curious was the XP was like in BG’s. I didn’t have to wait long before Merc appeared in Warsong Gulch. No one commented on his cloth shoulders, or even his lack of shirt. Maybe they were intimidated at his manliness. Maybe they just didn’t care. In any case, the horn sounded and off to the bloody races we went.

Low level PVP is a real treat when you only have three buttons to mash. Despite still having only a vague understanding of how to Monk, I found myself slowly figuring things after multiple gruesome deaths. Before I knew it, we had won Warsong Gulch and I popped out of the Battleground and back into the farmer’s field where the quests had been taking place. I looked at the xp bar and was disappointed to see it had only moved a few ticks. A bit dejected, I was finishing up the quest I was running when I happened to look at my character pane. Was that right? I scrolled back through the event window and realized that, yes, I had done more than get a few bubbles of xp. I had gone up an entire level!

No way. That couldn’t be right, could it?

I queued up again for another BG, and got back in right away. Another fifteen minutes of dying, less than before at least, and another win for the Alliance. Boom, another level! Also, more honor in the bag. At this rate, I thought to myself, I could be ready to buy some sweet transmog gear – or actual useful gear – in no time!

With each battleground win, Merc leveled. Not bad for twenty minutes of work (if that). I was so impressed with the leveling in battlegrounds that I stopped to weigh the pros and cons between leveling through BG’s rather than through questing.

Pros:

  • Decent XP – One level per BG win, half a level per loss.
  • Quick – twenty minutes max, and I didn’t have much of a wait once I entered the queue.
  • Honor – Sure I would cap eventually, but I was working for something at low level that would benefit me at higher levels.
  • Higher levels? Was I actually thinking about taking this monk past the level twenty cap I had initially placed on him?

    Cons

  • Level Cap – I wasn’t planning on taking him further than level twenty, so the honor wouldn’t really be beneficial.
  • Inexperience – There may have been only a couple of buttons to mash, but I still didn’t know what the Hell I was doing in PVP.
  • Gear – I was missing out on quest gear or items that would fill in the blanks left by the heirloom gear.
  • Reading that list, the cons really came out weak. Plus, by focusing on leveling through BG’s I knew exactly how much time I had to commit, which is good if you only have so much time to play. At best, I could commit to a twenty minute session to gain a level. At worse, probably forty. Depending on the quest, I couldn’t guarantee the amount of game time I’d need to level. So to maximize my xp/time ratio, PVP was going to be the way to go.

    Dress For Success

    If I was going to make a serious run with Merculees, I decided that I needed to get all the xp bonuses I could get. That meant it was time to get the man a shirt. Step one was using some of the Justice Points on Herculees to buy the leather heirloom chest piece. Step two was mailing it to my Enchanter on another server. With the new (new to me at least) change where any level enchant could be put on an heirloom item, I dropped Greater Stats on it and let it scale down. I sent it to Merculees and got him ready to party.

    The Lazy Man’s Way To PVP

    Like I said, there were only a few buttons to master when it came to playing the PVP game with a low level Monk. Roll to the target, Jab to get Chi, Tiger Palm for the buff, then Blackout Kick. Fists of Fury would be an option if the target was rooted or otherwise incapacitated. If Merc was incapacitated, there was the Human racial or Monk talent to get him free. Seemed simple enough, but it got to be annoying to try and get everything working as smoothly as everyone who continued to gut Merc.

    There had to be a better way. Between Master Youtube and Sensei Google, I found the answer.

    And by answer I mean a one-button macro that I could hammer on to do everything I needed to.

    I went to Curse and WoWInterface to find an addon that would let me extend the macro character limitation. SuperDuperMacro was one of the one suggested. If you’re so inclined to try this yourself, feel free to pick it up.

    After that, it was just a matter of copying and pasting into the box to generate my own single button killswitch.

    The Killswitch Macro:

    #showtooltip
    /castsequence reset=0.3 0,0,0,0,
    /castsequence reset=0.3 0,0,0, jab
    /castsequence reset=0.3 0,0, tiger palm
    /castsequence reset=0.3 0, blackout kick
    /castsequence reset=0.3 rising sun kick
    /use energizing brew
    /use tigereye brew
    /use 13
    /use 14

    Here’s the explanation of the macro, more or less:

    Now this macro was obviously not designed for low level monks. Rising Sun Kick, Brews, and Trinkets are not even on the character radar. But Jab, Tiger Palm, and Blackout Kick certainly is. In theory, the button would cast or use whatever was applicable, which meant it could still work for me.

    This macro is also not for the PVP pros out there, or even players who like to squeeze every drop of dps out of their character. This is for people like me, who are okay with just being somewhat competitive (or at least borderline functional).

    Results

    With ten hours of casual /played, Merculees dinged 22. Most of the level ups I didn’t even see since the battleground results board would pop up and block the notification. The only time I’d really notice the “ding” was when a new ability would float onto the action bar. From reading various PVP blogs, Merc just stepped into abilities where he could really shine in PVP.

    But is the experiment over? Will I continue with my Human Monk, or should I start one Horde-side? I’m having fun with him, and I’m not doing horribly in PVP. I may continue with the Main Monk and see how thing progress. At some point, maybe the learning curve will catch up with me. Maybe I’ll get sick of PVP, or get tired of getting stabbed in the neck/back. Until then, low level PVP with Merculees the windwalker Monk may be the way spend some quality time.

    Quality Time and PVP. Never thought I’d see the day, at least for me.

    Wild About Wildhammer

    Craw MacGraw does not serve alcohol, and he calls himself a dwarf!  

    Remember questing all the way through Twilight Highlands?  You don’t?  Congratulations, neither do most people!

    Twilight Highlands was in such a bad place, leveling-wise.  You needed to run the first few quests so that you unlocked the portal back to your capital city.  After that, you were close enough to hitting 85 that you’d just run an instance or two to ding.  After that, there wasn’t much point in going further along any quest lines.

    That is, of course, unless you knew what sweet rewards were waiting for you once you repped up.

    Okay, maybe most of the rep stuff isn’t very sweet.  Let’s be real here – the only reason people rep up in Twilight Highlands is for the sweet Melee DPS head enchants, which you get at Revered (score!).  It’s also a Bind on Account enchant, so you only need one character to get it and send it to your alts (not the case with the previously mentioned Therazane rep, bastards – double score!).

    But let’s see what we get if we take the time to rep up – starting Alliance-side with those zany, drunken, gryphon-loving madmen, the Wildhammer Clan!

    Friendly

    Honored

    Revered

    Exalted

    Like I said, most people who grind this rep don’t need to go past Revered.  Still, if you’re that close to getting Exalted, what’s a little more abuse?  Besides, who doesn’t love a little Dwarven love?

    Don’t answer that.  Or Google it.

    Therazane is Hawt

    The lovechild of Jessica Simpson and a pile of gravel.  Sexy, no?

    Talk about a productive week.

    Extremis the Knight of Death got himself to 85 and immediately flexed his impressive blacksmithing muscle by putting hammer to anvil.  The end result was a suit of Vicious Pyrium armor and an Elementium Bonecrusher.  He then bought an Elementium-Edged Scalper (best in slot pre-heroics, according to askmrrobot.com) and will get another if it appears on the market or he grinds his way to the recipe in Molten Core.  He’s already started knocking off regular dungeons and soon may be ready for Heroics.

    There’s also talk of raiding.  Me. Raiding in World of Warcraft.

    God help us all.

    It’s Not Who You Know.  It’s Who Knows You.

    While Extremis slogged through Deepholm during his mid-80’s, I started chatting up a guildie and commented how I really wasn’t a fan of questing in the zone.  Deepholm, I said, was an unfortunate circumstance that could not be skipped.  Once the questline was started, I felt it was important to remain there until it was finished.  You could leave sooner and move on to Uldum for quicker leveling, better xp and quest rewards, but the Deepholm questline was the only way to unlock and earn the Therazane rep needed to get the necessary Exalted for the shoulder enchants.  Also, the longer you ran the questline the more Therazane rep you could earn (one round of daily quests under Revered, as it turned out), and the fewer Therazane dailies needed to reach Exalted.

    My guildmate, who had patiently been listening to me rant on the zone, sent me a single sentence in response to my plight.  “I didn’t understand a single word you just said.”

    That’s when it occurred to me that there are a number of people who simply level up as fast as possible and start looking for gear upgrades.  They’re not really aware how important some of the reputations can be while you’re leveling.  All they know is to quest and run dungeons, blaze through levels, without giving any thought to what reputation benefits they’re passing up.

    Reputation can be important you guys.

    Sometimes it’s good to be kind of a big deal.

    So I decided to be a helpful kind of guy and point out some of the benefits of working on the rep grind of various factions in Cataclysm. Might as well start with the one Extremis is currently working on – Therazane. (Fun Fact – Flowers and candy will not help your rep with her.)

    Friendly

    Good to wear when you’re running 85 dungeons.  Not so great when you’re leveling, unless it matches your outfit.

     

    Honored

    These are the lesser shoulder enchants for each class.  Unless you’re an Scribe/Inscriptionator/Whatever, this is where you get your shoulder buffs.

    Revered

    Some decent bling for your character.

     

    Exalted

     These are the enchants that players are using at the end game.  Like I said, pound for pound the best enchants for the shoulder slot that you’ll find.  So slap on your Tabard and get your grind on!

    Progression

    Back on the net, back in the game. New motivation there, strides to be made.

    For example, Rokk has been doing it big in Wintergrasp.

    He’s amassed enough enough of a bodycount to pick up an upgrade.

    From there, he knocked off a couple of reputations: Exalted with Sons of Hodir and –

    Gemmed some gear, shoulder enchant SoH, and put a new killing tool in Rokk’s hand, made by Rokk’s own hands.

    All this in the past 24 hours. How was YOUR day?