In order to make sure that my leveling experiences as a hunter weren’t clouding the overall view of the leveling experience, I thought I would put in some time this weekend on a number of low level alts to see how combat feels at low level in the 4.0 world.

Level 16 Warlock, Demonology spec:

At level 10 you get a felguard now.  This does not bode well for being challenging.  I find a level 16 mob and auto attack with my staff.  After I get the first hit, my felguard pulls aggro.  Auto attacking only, we finish the mob with me at 96% HP (which ticks to 100 as soon as combat ends) and my felguard at 60%.  One health funnel later and we’re both good to go.

I find another level 16 mob, dot-dot-dot, dead mob.  I think my bane ticked once before the mob went splat.

I find a group of 3 level 16 and level 17 mobs, dot-dot-tab-repeat.  Life drain.  Three dead mobs.  I’m at 100% HP and my felguard is at 95%.

I find another group of 3 level 16 and level 17 mobs and literally mash the number keys on my keyboard.  About 20 seconds later, all mobs are dead.  I’m at 80% and my felguard at 95%

/sigh

/logout

 

Level 27 Paladin, Retribution spec:

Level 27 mob, auto attack only, 90% HP.  “Uh oh”

Level 28 mob, exorcism, judge, crusader strike, dead mob, 98% HP.  “Crap”

5 level 27 and 28 mobs, consecrate, judge, crusader strike, judge, crusader strike, word of glory, judge, crusader strike, repeat, 5 dead mobs, 90% HP.  “Sonofanerfingbastard”

3 level 27 and 28 mobs, mash keyboard, dead mobs, 90% HP.

/cry

/logout

 

Level 49 Rogue, Assassination spec:

Level 49 mob, auto attack only, dead mob, 87% HP.

Level 50 mob, mutilate (which we get at level 10 btw), slice and dice, melee, dead mob, 95% HP.  Target next mob, mutilate, recuperate, dead mob, 100%HP.

3 level 49 mobs via facepull.  Mutilate, slice and dice, tab, mutilate, rupture, tab, mutilate, eviscerate, tab, melee, etc.  Dead mobs, 93% HP.

2 level 49 mobs, mash keyboard, keep getting “you need combo points for that” messages, dead mobs, 90% HP.

/sigh

/logout

 

I was really looking forward to leveling a worgen warrior in cataclysm.  Now I’m not sure I’ll make it out of the starting area.  There is literally absolutely no challenge in combat during leveling anymore.

For months now, people have been complaining about the horrible playing we see at level 80.  Believe it or not, this is only going to get worse.

I used to think that the 0/0/71 (before 4.0), gem-less, enchant-less 80s that I saw were the result of laziness, an unwillingness to actually work at playing your toon, and that you were willing to suffer through inefficient leveling.  Now I know the truth.

Nothing during the leveling process prepares you for endgame content.  You don’t NEED a proper spec.  You don’t NEED a proper rotation/priority system.  You don’t NEED gems and enchants.

The difference between mashing random buttons and an optimized combat rotation is only a few GCD’s.  Since combat time comprises far less time during leveling than the time spent moving from mob to mob, there is absolutely nothing to motivate a player to optimize.

All of the skills necessary to survive at endgame are not taught anywhere during the leveling process.  Situational awareness?  Nope.  There are no void zones, mob AOE is a joke, pulling extra mobs isn’t dangerous at all.

When any toon can solo 3-5 same level mobs, why the hell would they ever wait for a tank to pull in a dungeon?

Now it feels like leveling is nothing more than a time sink.  Blizzard may as well introduce a new RMT to buy a level capped toon with basic green gear.  It would bring in some nice revenue, require little development effort, and nobody would ever notice the difference.  Since mashing buttons seems to work all the way to level cap, might as well continue to do so on Deathwing.

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