So, as you may or may not know, I’ve been leveling a monk. Her name is Yonten and I’d give you a screenshot of what she looks like except the game’s in maintenance right now and I don’t care to wait. She’s a pandaren, and doesn’t look all that different from other pandaren.
side note: Is it okay to call them pandas? Everyone I know does.
The reason for me leveling a monk was professional. I wanted an enchanter who could DE the rings and amulets Jana made from the otherwise barely useful gems she gets from prospecting. Before now I had sent those things to friends of mine who are enchanters but every time I did I felt guilty about imposing that burden on someone else. Jana prospects a LOT of ore and ends up crafting a lot of green items to be disenchanted.
In fact, here’s the math on that. A stack of ghost iron ore generates on average six uncommon gems, which can be converted to one ring and one amulet in total. Each of those rings and amulets has about a 10% chance of being a 415 blue item, which I try to sell on the AH rather than DE. So if I prospect 100 stacks of ore, I will have 180 items to DE. That’s 15 full mail messages.
Just the other day I prospected over 300 stacks of ore because I thought the price was really good. (I now think that the price of ore has crashed and have to reevaluate the price at which I will buy ore.) But that gives you an idea of the extent of Jana’s addiction.
I decided to level a monk because I wanted to see the class, and a pandaren because I wanted to see the opening area. As to the latter I don’t have too many thoughts on the matter. Blizzard once again portrays the Alliance as inept (how many ships do the Alliance have available to crash into things?) and I’m not sure about the kumbaya act at the end of the opening area between the two factions, but… eh.
I decided to level Yonten primarily through instances. I got her five pieces of heirloom gear, the ones that give her the xp boosts. If my calculations are correct, she has a 45% boost from her gear and a 10% boost from the guild, but I don’t know whether those are multiplicative or additive. This made leveling early on ridiculously quick. As soon as she hit level 15 (which was a few Westfall quests after the opening area), I queued her for a random dungeon, figuring I’d try that way of leveling. Her first dungeon was Ragefire Chasm, which as you know is not a long dungeon. She hit 16 at the end of the dungeon, and hit 17 by turning in the quests for that dungeon. It felt ridiculously quick.
If that weren’t enough, Blizzard in its wisdom decided to give monks an extra advantage. At level 20, monks have available to them a spell that teleports them to Kun Lai Summit. This is a special area called the Peak of Serenity, where monks train. Every ten levels they get a quest to duel one of the trainers, with each duel teaching certain aspects of the class. The quest itself rewards a boatload of XP (if memory serves, maybe three to four times what a normal quest will give you. It also gives you a buff that boosts your xp by 50% for the next hour, a buff that lasts through death. To top it off, monks also can do a similar quest daily to get the xp and the buff.
The upshot of this is that for most of Yonten’s leveling, she has had a 50% xp boost from that buff, a 45% xp boost from gear and a 10% boost from the guild perk. This has made leveling her extremely quick.
I’ve also been leveling her enchanting, and using those skills to improve her gear. At some point I gave her the heirloom sword. With six pieces of heirloom gear and enchants available, she seems to be pretty capable.
Which is good because I have no idea what I’m doing on the monk. Most of the time I do a Flying Serpent Kick followed by repeated Spinning Crane Kicks followed by looting the mobs (I call this “Monk Easy Mode”). I’ve tried other things but in truth I’m not really interested in pushing maximum dps on her. She does fine in dungeons, and mobs drop fast enough even when, as is too common, one dps is on follow.
I’ve done most of the leveling through dungeons. I don’t have too much remarkable to say about any of the low level dungeons, although I think I managed to avoid a few. At level 45 I took her to Badlands to quest because I love that zone, and as a result I think I missed Uldaman and Zul’Farrak. Around level 58 I got LBRS a few times, but every group insisted on doing UBRS instead. Level 59 brought the BC instances, and sadly all the upper level instances seemed impossible to get into. Queue times as dps were pretty quick until I hit 67. And sadly, I never got into any of the TK instances, Shattered Halls, Shadow Labs or Magister’s Terrace. Those were probably the best BC instances and now I have to believe very few people are able to run them because I don’t think LFD will ever assign them.
I did a bit of Howling Fjord questing at 68, and at 69 I started my first of many Utgarde Keep runs. A few levels later the game finally assigned Nexus, which was a welcome relief. I also did the Wrathgate quest sequence because it’s completely awesome.
A few days ago I reached my goal of getting Yonten to level 75. This allowed her to raise her enchanting skill to 525. The skill required to DE the gems and amulets Jana creates is 475. I now have a bank tab and a half full of current level enchanting mats, and will probably never want for them.
At level 80 Yonten will be able to raise her enchanting to 600. She wouldn’t have access to the purchasable rep enchants, of course, but she could do more basic enchants. I’m working to bring her there because I think it will be pretty easy to do so. Right now she’s most of the way to 77, and I imagine I could get her to 80 by the end of the week.
The monk play itself has been pretty fun and relatively easy. I don’t think I’ve had any problems doing any quest, and in instance runs the only times she’s died are when things went very wrong (e.g., the tank makes a four-pull and the healer is AFK). One time I managed to roll off a platform in the Nexus and plummet to my death. But it’s been fun and I recommend it to anyone. A friend of mine said that a dps monk is what a rogue should have been, and I can’t argue with that.
That’s update number 1. I have a few posts I’m planning to put up within the week, focusing more on my jewelcrafting.