You know, I totally hadn't realized it had been as long as it has since I last updated. Sorry about that. There have been a few things going on, and to be honest I haven't had something that I've really seriously wanted to write about. The "how to gem, enchant, coif, and manicure your hunter" post is necessary, but also kind of a boring pain to write. Other than that, I've pretty much covered the exciting possibilities of 4.06 in my previous post, so until that patch comes down the pipeline I don't have a whole lot to say. Part of that is also that the guild doesn't resume raids until next week. That's right: we're so slowcore we're not even going to start raiding until the entire tier has been cleared on heroic mode by the Paragons and Methods of the world (which are pretty much uh Paragon and Method).
On top of that, I've actually gone back to school. I'm still a little bit surprised by this development - when I first graduated with my B.A. in 2004 I swore "never again, the studying times!" and enlisted in the armed forces. But here I am. It's not eating a whole lot of time yet, but that's going to ramp up as the semester progresses, and since I'm also working (part-time), that reduces the time I've had available to just sit and think about WoW.
Finally, the game itself has been a time sink, hard as that may be for many of you to believe. I came into Cataclysm with two characters at cap with the following professions: blacksmithing, alchemy, enchanting, and tailoring. You may notice that none of those professions are herbalism or mining. I've never had the inclination to play the auction house and don't really have the capital necessary to do so anyway, which meant I couldn't substitute gold for gathering. I have many fine guildies, some with gathering professions, but they also have their own uses for the stuff they farm, and with raiding coming up a lot of our communal farming is going to go into collective consumables such as flasks and feasts. This all left me with one inescapable conclusion: I needed a gathering alt.
I am really kind of in love with her. I'd been thinking that I needed some sort of gathering alt since Cataclysm was announced, but hadn't been able to think of a race/class combination that interested me. My boyfriend's suggestion of how awesome a wolf lady cuttin' things up with two two-handers would look took a pretty instant hold, though, so there she is, looking as righteous as I'd imagined. She's good for 4-6k single-target DPS at 82 and she has a pretty decent prot spec. She's tanked a few instances in old Azeroth, Outlands, and Northrend. There's a lot of frantic button-pressing in warrior tanking, but being able to spell reflect and interrupt casters is pretty wonderful, and charging is as much fun as its always looked. She's really a joy to play. So across my various active high-level characters, I now have six professions, all making progress. The lowest is over 485, and the highest is I think 516. I've definitely had some help from guildies getting this far (and a lot of it!), but it'll be nice to eventually be able to supply flasks, belt buckles, enchants, and spellthreads to the guild as well as a number of 359 craftable items.
What else? I'm up to 20/28 of the achievements for Glory of the Cataclysm Hero, which is getting tantalizingly close. I've got a couple trivial ones left (No Static at All and Prototype Prodigy), some DPS check ones (Faster Than the Speed of Light and Sun of A...), and then a couple finnicky ones that you need to clear long heroics to get to (Rotten to the Core and Don't Need to Break Omelettes). I'm hoping to have it done within a couple weeks, but it all sort of depends upon when everyone can and can't be online.
So that's what's been going on. Still a little freaked out about raiding - the fact that crystals are a mat for the Cata run-speed enchant totally sucks, not to mention +20 stats. It looks like I'm going to be starting raiding with a number of suboptimal Wrath enchants, just because that's the only thing that's available to me. I'll take a look at my various crafting professions and see if there are any purpz I can craft and melt for less than the 2-3,000 gold crystals cost on the AH, but it's not looking too good. This won't be an issue in a month of course, but right when you start raiding is exactly the time that encounters are hardest - that's exactly the time you want the best enchants.
Oh well! I'm sure next week will be some pretty awesome fun.