Sunday, March 29, 2009

Ding! 73

Honestly, this one came out of nowhere. I got the Cooking quest from Dalaran that needed Rhino Dogs, and what better way to grab those than to meet back up with Hemet? (Actually, meeting up with Hemet again was a real letdown. Apparently his quests require level 74, including the one that's required to access the flight path, though smacking rhinos as a boomkin at 73 is extremely easy and I can't imagine doing this at 77.) On the way to the new Expedition site (while I was eating pancakes with one hand on the arrow keys of my iBook), the zone discovery XP apparently jacked me up to 73 and caught me too slow on the draw to get a golden aura screenshot (see Delos' helpful comment that solves my slow-on-the-draw screenshot issue. Thanks!). Nothing really exciting to report this level. Lots of quick quest XP, some more Kirin Tor and walrus rep, and a few profession dailies, just for kicks.

I put the talent point into Lunar Guidance. Why not? An extra 35 spellpower or so can't hurt.

Btw, anyone else noticing that Dalaran is waaaaay too processor/memory intensive? Sheesh. I don't have enough muscle even in the nVidia Mac Mini to keep up. I think I'll pull the white box (x86 tower I put together) back out of storage and see if it can do better.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Favorite zones & quests -- quick post

A few of the quests and zones in WoW have been much better than the rest -- more memorable. In a game where memorable stories are, for me, few and far between, I figure I should, at some point, blog in earnest about the ones I've enjoyed.

So far, the Archeus sword questline in Duskwood, along with the zone itself (with Stitches running through town) has far and away been one of my favorites. I wish I could have used the sword, and I'm pretty sure my hunter alt will head to Duskwood as soon as she's high enough level (if that ever happens), but I also remember thinking, "Wow, that's a lot of cash," when I sold it!

Obviously, the BT attunement questline that gives the Illadari-Bane (sp!) blade is a favorite, that I just recently finished with the help of a 74 pally.

I enjoyed the Blackrock Depths dungeon, if only because I was able to solo Lord Roccor and grab a druid-specific idol for loot (also the first easy source of gold for me, iirc).

I enjoyed farming frostsaber hides and leather from Everlook (?) for some strange reason. Good XP, few other players there to compete for mats, and good returns on the farming. Also helped that the sabers were rootable (no ranged dmg) and that spawned pretty quickly.

The Cenarian Circle area in BC grew on me, but it's not exactly a favorite.

Nessingwary is a favorite character, and Nagraand a great zone in general for farming, dailies, and sheer good-looking graphics. I don't believe I'll be helping the PETA group find and kill him, though his effigy is hilarious.

You know, other than the sort of awed feeling I got seeing Darn and then IF for the first time, that might be it. Sneaking into a Horde city as a cat was fun. I guess STV was a nice farming zone, though not full of great quests. I think SM was the first instance I ever ran, so it has some lasting impression. The quests on the Isle aren't bad, and were good dailies for a while, with about four that didn't get too old. /shrug I think that's it.

What did I miss?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Ding! 72

Forgot to get /played (EDIT: about 33 days. Sheesh. Lots of wasted time at 70). I'll grab that tomorrow when I get back on, which will have another couple of hours added.

Been running the Kalu'ak missions in Dragonblight, having stumbled onto them taking the turtle boat on my way to Dalaran. Been okay missions, though steal pups and killing their enemies to get supplies after talking about how the enemy's just confused is somewhat at cross purposes. They're also pretty clearly supposed to be Hawaiian or Samoan-esque, and, well, the stereotypes are right out of Phantom Menace.

So far I've bagged a Carved Dragonbone Mace, with decent spellpower stats, but the armor rewards haven't even tempted me to put away the Wyrmhide rep set. Surprised that the Mace and its other concurrent quest rewards have no WoW Head comments or even WoW Wiki entries. Not a bad mace at 72!

Laser Chicken's hot off the press rep guide shows that there are at least two rewards worth pursuing as long as I'm walrusing, the Whale-Skin Vest at Honored (tempting, but level 76 required), and the Totemic Purification Rod at Revered, which I'm not sure I'll bother to get (level 78). We'll see.

UPDATE: Looks like the Rod is is a pretty good spellpower pickup, and here are a few suggested off-hands to go with. Still, I'm a few levels away from either.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Laser Chicken makes my gear quest moot

Soloers rejoice; here's the list of craftable boomkin items from Laser Chicken with compares (thanks Daily Druid).

There are four easy ways to get gear when you solo like a part-timer, and Laser Chick has them all:
* Craft
* Quest
* Reputation Buys
* Auction

Three down, though the lowest level for these is 75. I'm going to post a "Thrifting with Jal" post soon to start up what I think are the best deals I've found on the AH on Proudmoore.

UPDATE: Das Chicken has added AH and a summary of the best gear for soloers.

Again, the emphasis is on level 80, so I'm left with some questions in the meanwhile, but I guess the lesson is start leveling!

Recount Addon, Cleft-Edged Hammers, and WoWHead Compare

Grabbed Recount, a DPS gauge add-on a day or two ago.

Recount is a graphical damage meter written by Cryect. Recount (Preservation) is an attempt to preserve it through the 2.4 patch and fix up some minor things along the way. If Cryect returns the project really should be wholely his and he can keep or abandon any changes I've made here.

Kinda neat. I've used a few over the years, and this seems as good as any, and even has some neat graphing functions, if you believe all the screenshots you see. Already neat to see Jal's breakdown for damage when PvEing (shown below) versus instancing. In the latter, as you might guess, Wrath accounts for a higher percentage of damage done.

Did manage to dredge up a Cleft-Edged Hammer of the invoker while questing this morning. Seems to want to skip the AH and compete with my Cragthumper. The Cleft-Edged has better caster stats combined with slightly better attack stats (DPS, crit, and attack power), but without the 600 hp increase Crag has. Tough call. Cleft-Edged seems a better boomkin PUG weapon for when I go /oom and start wailing, with the slight bonus when the mana creeps back up long enough to throw in Moonfire -- though I guess I should have a macro to swap back to the caster weapons when I do that. /shrug

For now, it's sitting, unbound, in my pack.

Fwiw, the compare function at WoWHead ist mas cool.



Level 120 150 115
Required level 70 74 70

Intellect 65 140 88
Stamina 67 178 142
Spirit 56 56
Mana regeneration


Armor 743 1861 1357
Resilience rating


Critical strike rating 47 92
Spell power 101 376 141

Sockets 3  3
1  3
Number of sockets 6

Gains 56 Spi
47 Crit
6 Sockets
75 Int
111 Sta
56 Spi
1118 Armor
92 Crit
275 Spell Power
23 Int
75 Sta
25 MP5
614 Armor
85 Resilience
40 Spell Power
7 Sockets

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dalaran at 71

It's not exactly a great use of time, but the trick...

... works.

I don't feel too badly for slicking my way in. Once I died swimming away from the folk on the ships in the Isle dailies and ended up in a graveyard back in the Blood Elf starting zone. Had to spirit healer out, and then run for what seemed like hours to get back to the Isle. That was not cool. You suffer from poor playtesting and you gain. It's karmic.

The graphics in Dalaran really took a toll on the new Mac Mini, nvidia graphics or no. Scaled back a number of settings to get things happy again. Still, pretty neat place. Not the same awe that Darn or IF gave me the first time I saw them, but a neat place, with plenty to buy, at least. Ran the Sewer Stew cooking daily, and the level 78 wolves weren't fun. Couldn't get 'em, but was close enough running was np.

Btw: Thanks to Icedragon, I'm now much surer the glyph of moonfire isn't for me. /sigh

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Glyph of Moonfire, yea or nay?

I don't kno' nuttin' 'bout glyphs, except, starting today, that they exist. Hey, I'm a part-timer, yo.

So they do [exist]. That's what this new Inscription skill in LK is. So we find that there are a number of glyphs that a druid can use, including the Glyph o' Moonfire. Should we use it? Its sizable DoT bonus comes with a serious up-front penalty.

Increases the periodic damage of your Moonfire ability by 75%, but initial damage is decreased by 90%.

So here's the best looking comment from

As you can see - If you don't crit often, Moonfire with Glyph does more dmg. But if you're lucky for crits Moonfire without Glyph does more dmg.

Don'crit often? Are you kidding? Gimme that up front dmg, then.

Ah, but wait. Combine with another glyph and we're on to something, maybe.

... use glyphed Starfire to extend its duration indefinitely (with crit + haste you can land a Starfire every 2-2.5 seconds). Since you never have to reapply the DOT you can keep up the highest possible tick and won't miss the initial damage from the glyphed Moonfire.

I love Moonfiring the killshot. OH, BUT IT W4ZT3Z M4N4!!1! Yes, yes, I know. That's why my favorite comment in the thread about the Moonfire glyphs is this one...

A Boomkin spams Moonfire to finish off someone quickly. Yes, it does burn mana. But you see, the Boomkin can sit down and have a drink whilst sitting on the corpse of their enemy.

The /oom now so that we can drink later tends to be my attitude, the impatience of my PUG for whom I was going to try main healing as Balance spec nonwithstanding.

Still, I'm intrigued with the Moonfire glpyh. The Starfire glyph, however, is a no brainer. Let's go see how tough that is to get.

(Btw, if you're wondering why a panzerkin blog has so much general balance stuff, it's b/c DPS == panzerkin threat. What's good for the goose, given plenty of armor...)

EDIT: Icedragon weighs in that there is no infinite Moonfire extension now, just a 9 second buff if all goes well. So for my playstyle, at least, the Glyph of Moonfire is out.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

From the joys of PUGing

I'll backfill the 71 ding in a bit, but this shot captured what it's like to wait hours to PUG what you need only to, well, be thwarted later. We were supposed to run Dark Portal next, and had run Durnholde just to qualify the healz. /sigh About an hour later, still no full replacements, and I went to Nexus instead for a full run.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ding! 71

Argh, it just hit me that Jal dinged while in human disguise. Poor guy.

Welp, minutes after reactivating, Jal's 71. It's been difficult since finding anyone to run BC zones, so it looks like the Wyrmhide Helm is going to have to wait.

So far, the gear update is pretty thin, unlike the Burning Crusade expansion, which is a good thing. Seems like I was throwing away my best Old World gear with each quest reward for a while. So far I've only added the Vicious Spellblade and Cragthumper (good melee DPS and great STA) from quest rewards, and the Holistic Patchwork Breeches from instance runs.

And finally, caught Omen of Clarity back. Had played around with Starfall with my last point previously, but forgot I had it (idiot) and haven't cast it yet. Omen of Clarity is, obviously, a much more useful work-a-day talent -- though more points in Eclipse or Wrath of Cenarius might have been smarter still. Current talent tree here.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Tree's shopping guide; it's a start

Thanks to Blizzard's decision to merge +heal and +dmg, A Healing Druid’s Naxx-25 Shopping List at World of Matticus actually gives something of a start of the gearing endgame.

Of course I'm months from being high enough level to be months from finding and DKPing with a guild before I'd even need to consider reading this, but wanting to read it? Pretty neat. Found via Rolling Hots via Daily Druid.

The portion "Syd’s Gear Theory" is probably more useful (from the same Matticus post, lower down) for general DKP guild advice.

Panzerkin rules

I'll admit it's been a while since I've panzered, in part because it's so danged hard to pitch yourself as a PUG as an owltank. Still, there are a few easy to rules to ensure you're ready if you accidentally get the chance to step up.

  1. No cloth armor
  2. No Nature's Reach (keep threat high)
  3. Keep a weapon that gives armor and attack bonus (list to lvl 70) in your sack

That's enough for starters. I'm tempted to rid myself of Manimal's Cinch, etc, and not backfill as I go LK and just keep good leather balance sets, but I could change my mind. Now that Blizzard's killed RPing wrt healer gear, you've got extra spots in your bags, right?

The bottom line is that, as panzer, you can keep aggro. It's then just up to your healer. Even with inferior armor, most priests can keep up with you, if my BC experience. If you've got a tree healing and another innervate to toss around between you, that can be all the better.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Enchant Weapon - Spellsurge: Putting the Panzer back in your 'kin

Enchant Weapon - Spellsurge - Spell - World of Warcraft

Permanently enchant a melee weapon to have a 3% chance on spellcast to restore 100 mana to all party members over 10 seconds. Requires a level 35 or higher item.

Found this mentioned over on Druid Main. At some point I'm going to have to stop reading, but this was a good find for putting the Moonkin "nerf" (from my pov, at least) back into your playstyle.

Fighting terrorism with WoW

Thought others might get a kick out of my payment schedule. Looks like, if you add in a few bucks for the initial buy and the BC expansion, I'm averaging about $7.70 per month on WoW since I bought in. Though I'm tempted to be happy with all that I've "saved" by not keeping my subscription current for 48 months (48/6 * $77.94 = $623.52 + $40 (WoW) + $40 (BC) = 703.52!), it's still painful to think I pay that much for a game I only play half the time. Month by month, that's only about a $5 savings monthly to have turned WoW off. *sigh*

 Billing Plan:
2/27/09 N/A 10 day Wrath Trial
5/13/08 $14.99 USD One Month Recurring
5/12/08 N/A One Day Credit
4/12/08 $14.99 USD One Month Recurring
8/9/07 $14.99 USD One Month Recurring
7/8/07 $14.99 USD One Month Recurring
6/6/07 $14.99 USD One Month Recurring
4/28/07 $14.99 USD One Month Recurring
3/26/07 $14.99 USD One Month Recurring
2/19/07 $14.99 USD One Month Recurring
1/17/07 $14.99 USD One Month Recurring
5/10/06 $14.99 USD One Month Recurring
3/6/06 N/A Three Day Credit
2/19/06 N/A One Day Credit
11/19/05 $41.97 USD Three Months Recurring ($13.99 per month)
11/17/05 N/A One Day Credit
8/17/05 $41.97 USD Three Months Recurring ($13.99 per month)
5/16/05 $41.97 USD Three Months Recurring ($13.99 per month)
5/13/05 N/A One Day Credit
4/13/05 $14.99 USD One Month Recurring
4/10/05 N/A Three Day Credit
4/5/05 N/A Five Day Credit
3/5/05 N/A Free Month

Not exactly a victory. Wonder how much I've thrown into UO?

In any event, I've been wondering if I should postpone buying LK until after a few more months of leveling in BC. There's lots of XP back on the table [EDIT: Idiot. You ob have to have LK to get levels over 70. Dolt.], and a few more instance runs should do Jal proud. Still plenty of good gear to grab too compared to quest rewards, if I can find enough folk to instance. I'm hoping there are enough Death Knights flopping through BC.

By the way, somebody grab me one of these, okay? Figurines of your "little dude," as we like to call Jal around here, for just $130. If they get the Druidic Helm of Second Sight right, I'm interested. I think I'd have to equip the Illidari-Bane too, just because it's the most impressive looking hardware I've got right now, maybe with my very old skull off-hand from Darkshire. Man, I'm a geek. ;^)


Okay, I'm all down and shiite with the acros now. For other causal gamers, that's apparently Too Long; Didn't Read. Excellent semi-colon use. I've caught this on Grey Matter and now Druid Main, so I figured it was worth sharing.

When next we consider panzerkin-ing, we consider whether Hurricane or Typhoon makes for a better group pull. Tune in.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hello, theorycrafting your balance

One of the fun parts about playing panzerkin (or even just configuring your char to be ready for a chance to go panzer) is that we get to "passively dual spec" Balance at the same time. The only difference is in one talent, where you now have to avoid Nature's Reach, which stinks, honestly. I liked the extra range before it meshed with threat reduction, but now, you don't want to give away 15% of your threat when you're tanking. No big deal overall, and it's not like threat's an issue while PvE soloing, so the only time it fooks you is when you're PUGing as Boomkin. Even then, if you've let the tank and healer know in advance not to worry if you pull aggro, all is good. Panzerkin physician, heal and handle thyself.

Now admittedly, I'm generally a little light on the theorycrafting, as that's time I could be playing. It's daggum part-time panzerkin, after all. But after listening to Resto4Life's Phae on Twisted Nether talk up Daily Druid, I went back and found some serious theorycrafting going on over at Gray Matter:

I don't want to rehash everything I did in my four part Eclipse series

Four part? Good heavens. I still run pretty much the same rotation I've always run... Starfire into moonfire, insects, roots (optionally), and then wrath spam like there's no tomorrow with refreshes on MF, sometimes IS. If Wyrmhide's set bonus or Eclipse procs, I wail starfire once or until Eclipse is done, respectively. That rotation just feels right. More wrath equals more spell bonus equals more DPS, right?

Back in my post, Druid Forum, DPS, and Mana Efficiency, I pointed out how folk like to run SFx4 instead of Wrathx6, and figured that my Wrath heavy rotation really only hurts if I, "Have a fight that lasts longer than you have mana." That's still my angle for PvE and most instancing. I'm noticing getting Eclipse to proc after my SF lead means I usually Wrath out the PvE mob before it gets close enough to bother me, eliminating the need for a call to roots or DoTs. Crit Wrath once or twice more after the SF and, well, ouch.

But Grey Matter's got enough mathes in there I couldn't stay away. Here's part 1 of the updated Eclipse series, that lists the goals of the series.

In this post I look at the two Eclipse buffs and show which is the better buff. Part two will look at the value of Eclipse [ie, should you invest the points] and try and provide you with an idea of how it will help your DPS. Part 3 will try and answer the question, Should you reapply DoTs during Eclipse? Finally, Part four will summarize my findings and I will share my general thoughts about the talent.

Whowsah. Here are the important lines.

So, as you can see Eclipse will increase Wrath's DPS by 17.70% ( (3327.99 - 2827.54 ) / 2827.54).
So, as you can see Eclipse will increase Starfire's DPS by 30.07% ( (3325.48 - 2556.78) / 2556.78).
In fact, Starfire with the eclipse buff does more DPS on average then Wrath does with the eclipse, but they are very close. ... The margin between Starfire and Wrath will decrease as Crit increases but it's not much and Starfire still beats Wrath in total DPS if there is a comparable increase in Haste.

So whaddyaknow? I was doing the right thing already -- Wrath until Eclipse procs, and then go SF like mad. My rotation is likely the best, unless of course my first SF counts against me because it gets in the way of a possible SF Eclipse from the lost Wrath crit attempt. But the difference is small enough between the two Eclipse flavors that leading (or pulling when in a group) with the stronger spell (the cast time is free, after all, for your first attack) seems to play out as a smart idea. There was a day when I'd follow that rotation with a quick /oom, swap to Braxxis, and wade in swinging, but as I've already lamented, that's not as obviously a good move any more. Curse ya', Panzerkin nerfers.

The other upshots from Cdin's in-depth Eclipse theorycrafting are that DoTs, as a general rule, should be ignored once Eclipse procs (though there's a slight bonus if you get moonfire in at Eclipse's start), and that you might as well throw three points into Eclipse if you're offered the chance (that's my take away, at least).

Wish I woulda remembered I could only have one roots at a time. Figured it out on my own, of course, after some very humourous "testing" in Durnholde. *sigh*

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

LK is the same WoW

Gosh, I'm glad we've stopped calling LK "WotLK".

So the WoW, Casually blog (a blog stunningly started by a moonkin shortly after I pitched "Confessions" to Hrm) answers a reader mail titled, "Returning to WoW as a casual". The letter writer asks for some direction when s/he comes back. The answer he gets is horrible. Horrible. Essentially all of the advice is nonspecific. I want to know, eg, the best quest line for my level 70.99999 druid, not that I should be in a guild, or that I should randomly change servers (TWF?), make a death knight (not too exciting aside from meeting the LK), or to create alts. Give me a freaking break. Seriously, I know the guy asks, "how to start over in WoW for a returning casual player. Or starting WoW for the first time for that matter," but this was supposed to be a LK specific answer, right? I should buy the expansion to make alts? If they're not a Death Knight, there's nothing about the expansion that changes my toon experience. Great advice. $40 for nothing. And for now, I'll excuse the self-serving suggestion to "read in your spare time". Look, I barely have time to play as it is. The last thing I want to do is spend more time reading Thott, WoWHead, wowinsider, and WoWWiki.

Probably the worst part of "Casually's" answer reveals more about the issue with LK than the blog, however. Here's another "helpful" point for those returning.

Northrend is awesome

If you do have a level 68, even if you don't end up staying on that realm or with that character, you are going to want to experience the Northrend content as soon as possible. There are new and varied quest types, the lore is rich and compelling and the scenery is breathtaking. And don't avoid instances as you level up. They now take less than an hour, making it feasible even for casuals to find a group and complete.

Issues with "WoW, Casually" again are not providing specifics -- What in particular is breaktaking about the scenery? Which instances should I take in? For BC, I could say that Nagraad was particularly good looking, or that Shadow Labs was one instance I found especially enjoyable. The points in "Casually's" answer aren't invalid -- Howling Fjords looks pretty good (the burning boat in the sky is a neat touch, and Utgarde updates the traditional WoW architecture in an enjoyable way) and the instances are enjoyable so far. Utagrde's blast furnance and the Nexus' Matrix stylings are pretty kewl. This is why I prefer the style of this blog. When I'm playing, it's what one casual gamer is doing to make his game interesting. Maybe it'll work for you.

So on to the LK issues revealed in the answer. What specifically about about the LK lore is rich and compelling? This is where LK lets us down. I want there to be an obvious reason to play the game, and this lack isn't "Casually's" fault. I want to feel like my questing is part of something larger. I want to stumble into an artifact that gets me sucked into the storyline, like the Illidari-Bane Mageblade quests, but on a much larger scale.

(I'll talk more about a potential answer later, but as a hint, Braben and Bell do a very good job of fleshing out a world with a random number generator.)

Both expansions to WoW start in exactly the same way. You're in some fortress that's under attack. In LK, there are not one, but TWO fortresses where you can relive this awesome experience! One is attacked by demon-like mobs, the other by wacky lumberjacking giants with dogs who spawn quicker than you can skin them. No, literally; about half the time, the worg corpse has vanished before I could skin them. And my goal is to kill 'em. Kill the giants. Kill the fools in the mine below the land near the fortress (BC and LK). Sprinkle bombs on hotspots on your map. Fuuuuuuhn stuff.

This unimaginative, bare bones storyline style questing doesn't engage me. Kill x of y does not engage me, and hardly makes for "varied quest types". Convert x of y scarecrows back to happy threshers does not engage me. Taking the Clefthoof model, changing the horn a bit, and putting them back into herds where only the alpha male aggros so that you can slap the same content with slight variation back into the game does not engage me.

Blizzard needs to stop sitting on their laurels and remake the WoW experience. There should be direction and obvious arguments for an old player to come back, and answers obvious enough for someone who specializes in getting casual gamers to play to name specifics for why those players should come back and stick around. With LK, I don't see those, and neither does Robin. I appreciated the free 10-day hit of heroin, and it might be plenty to make my jonesing strong enough me to play a few more months, but LK is the same WoW.

I'm going to remain disappointed until WoW brings back story (I'd probably be more accurate to say brings it and stop at that). Nothing's stopping them but themselves.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Loot list for dr00d

Continuing on the last post, here's one loot list for druids. Better than a kick in the face, I guess, but nothing for the head in the "casters" (heard of "Balance"?) portion of the list.

Kaliban's Class Loot Lists: Druid:

This loot list is dedicated for helping you gear up your druid as best as possible.

Next armor set for soloers?

I was looking through the Druid armor sets at WoWWiki, and it doesn't look like there's a good successor for the Wyrmhide Battlegear. I managed to bag some Holistic Pathwork Breeches (will have floaty stats back soon) during an instance run, but that meant out go the Wyrmhide leggings and the starfire set bonus.

Yes, Ingvar is dead in the screengrab, and we've got our tank just barely alive off screen to the right. ;^)

I've been LFGing for Caverns of Time to get enough rep for the Helm, but haven't gotten anyone to bite. Looks like I could eventually solo enough Durnholders to hit rep, bag the Wyrmhide Helm, and get my bonus back, but this seems like an obvious waste of time for what's not a huge step up from the Drudic Helm of Second Sight. Yet where do I put those resources? There's no clear next set to go after for soloers. The Wyrmhide was a nice set, balance specific, that soloers could grab via straightforward rep tests. I'd like to see another added for LK, even if I have to hit 80 first.

Guess I might have to go helm-only and grab something like a Windscale Hood, but I'm not sure that's better than Wyrmhide plus bonus. At least it's just cash instead of hours of repping. Guess I'll keep LFGing.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

THUNK! 70.999999

Not quite a Ding!, but I did manage to get within my one point of 71 by, of all things, running some Isle dailies. Easy easy XP, and part of the old grind so it was easy to pick back up. Quick impression is that it's the same game, but the eye candy during instance runs seems marginally better. I've been disappointed with the lack of originality with the quests in the expansion so far. Sustained critique later.