Last night at UFC 194, not only was a new UFC Featherweight Champion crowned in spectacular fashion, but a new alt was added to my roster. The level 100 boost will probably happen during my time off so I can start working on optimizing the garrison and getting some LFR and dungeons in.
So in honor of the new champion, Conor McGregor, here is my next character to reach 100 (soon) –
This has been quite a busy week for the UFC. Three days of fight cards, back to back. Thursday night was UFC Fight Night 80. Friday was the finale of The Ultimate Fighter 22. Saturday, one of the most anticipated PPV events of the year, UFC 194. This pay per view has not one, but two title fights – Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman facing Luke Rockhold, and Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo meeting Interim Featherweight Champion Conor McGregor!
Many of you have glazed over at this point. One paragraph in and I’ve already lost you.
Sure, there may be a few people who know what I’m talking about. However, I suspect that the most real-life combat exposure a majority of readers have is wrestling open a bag of Cheetos. This is fine, acceptable, and not something to be judged over.
I, however, have a few passions and violence is one of them. Fasten your seatbelts because there’s about to be an ugly collision of worlds.
A short time ago I posted a poll on Twitter regarding my upcoming Level 100 Legion Boost. I wanted to know what class I should be using my boost for. I proposed four classes – Rogue, Mage, Monk, and Death Knight. The result of the polls came up with a tie between Monk and Death Knight.
My first thought on the results was that I should let the winners fight it out but that wasn’t about to happen. Because how, obviously. That’s when the UFC’s three days of blood gave me quite the idea.
I was going to let others fight my battles for me.
Fight Night 80 had two profile fights that I would use as my decision makers. I was leaning toward boosting an Alliance character, since the majority of my fourteen characters were Horde. So I bet the faction on the fight between odds-on favorite Sage Northcutt and glorified punching bag Cody Pfister. If Sage won, I’d go Alliance. If Cody got the nod, I’d use my boost for a Horde character. Sage was the majority favorite, and besides, the kid looks as Alliance as they get.
The result? Alliance roar!
Second fight was going to be for the sex of the character. I was actually indifferent to this so I put it to the main event – Rose Namajunas vs. Paige VanZant. Paige, the pretty girl, would be the avatar of my female avatar while Rose was for the male.
Much like the narrator in the movie Fight Club, Rose wanted to destroy something beautiful. She wrecked poor Paige, and by the end of Day One of Blood I knew that I was boosting an Alliance Male.
Day Two was going to start deciding classes. I was going to stick with the profile fight, which was the main event – Frankie Edgar vs Chad Mendes. Oddsmakers and fight fans had this as a coin flip favorite, so that’s what I did. I flipped a coin to see who would rep the Mage class, and Frankie boy won. So if Edgar won the fight, my Mage would advance into the Bloodsport Boost finals. If Mendes won, then the Rogue would go on.
The result of the fight? Frankie the Mage Arcane Blasted the holy Hell out of “Roguish” Chad Mendes.
Tonight’s Day Three will tell the final tale. There are two fights I’m focusing on, and both are title bouts. My two preferred classes in the initial poll, the Monk and the Death Knight, will be decided at the same time the UFC Middleweight Champion is. My preferred class is the Death Knight, and oddsmakers give champion Chris Weidman a slight advantage over Luke Rockhold. So Weidman will be my Death Knight representative, and Rockhold will be my Monk.
The winner will take that class into the UFC 194 Main Event – Conor McGregor vs Jose Aldo for the UFC Featherweight Championship.
Oddsmakers have Conor with the slightest of advantages. Unlike the other fights, I’m bucking the odds. I do not see Conor beating a guy with the talent and skillset that Aldo has. Could he win? Yes. Will he? Not unless he pulls off some magic. And that’s why Conor McGregor will rep the Mage class, while Jose Aldo will represent the winner of the Middleweight class battle.
World of Warcraft. Mixed Martial Arts. Two very separate worlds, brought together by a single Nerdlord. Boggles the mind, the shit I come up with sometimes. Coincidentally that’s also one of the fun things about being me. I have no idea what I’ll come up with next.
No, I don’t mean that as an acronym for the game about which I blog, or journal, or whatever this is. No, I mean wow as in wowsers, I can’t believe I did it.
What is “it” you might ask? Well if you have to ask you haven’t been paying attention. Also, welcome to my blog-thing person who is showing up for the first time. At the beginning of October, I started leveling a Mage. Why, you might ask? Well there was a few reasons. My day consisted of garrison and ship missions (which actually didn’t involve me doing anything at all) and running Tanaan jungle quests to improve gear for no real reason. I had completed an LFR raid because I was more desperate than intimidated (coincidentally the same reason I got together with my current fiancee).
After killed my first raid boss ever, I wanted to try something totally new. I’d never leveled a cloth-type character before, so my new task was to take a class I’d never played before, level it to 100 by playing through all the content, then get him raid-ready and kill the final boss in the game. This appealed to me on a number of levels – I was learning a new class, a new style, and use him to do things I’d never done before. It gave me something to do. Productive, or as productive as you can get in a video game.
There was something fulfilling about taking a character from the lowest of levels to the very end content of the current game. Maybe a little too fulfilling.
November 16th, I queued up with my Mage and killed the final raid boss in Warlords of Draenor, Archimonde. I got no loot, wiped four times, but still managed to get the kill in the end. Hooray!
After that, Odingreen walked back into his garrison and I… well I logged off. For over a month, this was my goal. I’d never done any kind of raiding before, and I’d never played a Mage before. Once I did both, I had the immediate sensation that I had done what I had wanted to do so there was no point in continuing. I’ll have more to say about all of this, but for the moment…
I think I can safely say that I’m done with leveling for a long time.
Odingreen, the Swole Sorcerer, has become the fourteenth character I’ve taken to the promised land of level 100. But what makes him different is that he was the first mage I’d ever played, and the first character that I powered through from the first level of one, all in a few hours a week. I didn’t play often, but when I did I was solely focused on leveling him up. Zone by zone, expansion by expansion, each had it’s highs and lows.
Oddly enough, Warlords of Draenor was just more of the same.
There’s a reason I held WoD at a different standard going into it. For all intents and purposes, this should have been the easiest stretch to level through. There are ample posts describing fast and easy ways to knock out those levels in about two hours. There’s videos too, like this one –
Leveling from 90 to 100 in Two Hours
As you can see, the key to this speed leveling process is prep work. The formula is simple to follow: enter a zone, find each bonus objective in the zone and complete the required kill/collect tasks except for one (one kill, one item to be collected), then move on to the next bonus objective. Drink an Elixir of the Rapid Mind, finish off each objective, gather some treasures in between, and watch the levels fly by.
Sure, seems easy enough when you look at it like that. Actually it is easy enough. I’ve used that very same strategy with Hunters, Warriors, and Death Knights. Here’s where I became frustrated with Mages, and the process in general.
- Lack of gear. Heirloom items are great to have, but when you have a character with a mix of gear that fluctuates between iLevels 100 and 500, your performance is going to suffer. This can be a problem because…
- Mages are glass tanks. I’m used to using classes that are either Hunters with tanking pets, or melee dps classes that can stand in the pocket and throw down, face-to-face. Mages have to try and burn down the mob before it gets to them, because if they don’t they’re going to get torn apart. Bonus objective mobs tend to hit a little harder than regular mobs, which makes completing them quite painful when you can’t take a punch.
This process was painful. There were many deaths. Many, many deaths. Odingreed died more in this expansion than he did in Wrath, Cataclysm, and MoP combined. This could have been a result of me being a raw rookie when it came to Mages, but the fact that he had to take punches from giants wearing nothing but the same items you’re probably wearing when you read this.
But in the end…
As good a feeling as that might be, Odingreen’s journey wasn’t over yet. Step One was to take a class I’d never played before and level him from 1 – 100. Done and done.
Step Two was to get him raiding, and to kill Archimonde, the final raid boss in Warlords of Draenor. Odingreen was going to go from killing boars outside Goldshire to killing giant World Beaters on other planets, all in a couple of weeks, just to show that it doesn’t have to be intimidating to get into the raiding scene. But the next step is going to involve gearing up, since he’s going to need an iLevel of 650 to get into LFR for Archimonde.
Now before any of the elitist raiding community comes down on me by saying “LFR isn’t real raiding anyway”, I’d like to direct your attention to the general direction of my dick. LFR is a tool, a gateway into a more committed raiding mindset. Or at the very least, just a way to see some cool content/mechanics/find out what the hell everyone keeps talking about.
Is LFR raiding? It’s right there in the acronym – Looking For Raid. There’s philosophies regarding this, but I’m not sweating that right now. This isn’t about labels – it’s about killing. And isn’t that what gaming is all about?
Out of the entire leveling stretch, Mists of Pandaria was the expansion I was dreading the most. I HATED leveling in MoP. I know hate is a strong word, but it’s the best I could come up with without getting too colorful or graphic. It gets the point across without me telling you that leveling through Pandaria was the drizzling shits. Back in the day, just the thought of questing through MoP gave me a frustration headache, a stress-clenched jaw, and the sensation that I’d just swallowed a swarm of bees that had dined on nothing but tequila and bad intentions. It was during that expansion that I actually walked away from WoW for an entire year. Unsubbed, never looked back.
It was that bad.
I tried to put my finger on what exactly red-lined my stress when it came to MoP. The quests were… fine, I guess? I think it was the sheer distance to get from point A to point B by land that made the whole procedure feel like it took sooooo long. Riding from hub to hub felt like someone slowly dragging their fingernails across a chalkboard. Even after the xp squish that comes with old content, I only leveled two characters through the content. Luckily they’d already started the grind, so it was less of an issue to get them through.
But Odingreen had to get through Pandaria from start to finish. Even with a few Elixirs of the Rapid Mind, it still wasn’t a walk in the park. It probably took twice as long as the Cataclysm stretch did. There were a few times when minutes of travel ticked off the Elixir of the Rapid Mind without anything happening except travel. There were a few good quest hubs, followed by saddle sores.
Odingreen’s Tips for Leveling From 85 to 90 Using the Elixir of the Rapid Mind
- Patience, Grasshopper. Pandaria was not RM friendly, that’s for damn sure. It took three RM, with questing in between to fill in the gaps between hubs, to get from 85 to 90. With no flying, and quite a bit of space between hubs, the time dragged like an anchor. Kun-Lai was a beast to get around. Avoid that piece of property if you can.
- No Dungeons. If you’re going lone wolf, stay away from these dungeons. There’s too many cute little mechanics going on that seems to befuddle groups. If you really want to enjoy the experience then run them solo once you get to 100.
Yeah, not much to sing about when it came to Mists of Pandaria. The best part was leaving it in the rearview mirror when Odingreen flew to Timeless Isle, went for a swim, and took the shortcut to Draenor.