- Frothshock, new level 13 Dwarf Shaman, cleared Dun Morogh. (Beer puns are pretty common on the newly permitted Dwarf Shaman.)
- Cheerydeth (the third), existing level 41 Gnome Rogue, cleared half or so of West Plaguelands, gaining two levels (to 43)
- Orcthanc, a new level 6 Orc Warlock, cleared the orc level 1-6 area. (Warlocks are evil, and Saruman, who lives in Orthanc, is also evil, making for another pun.)
- Tangleroot, a new level 9 Troll Druid, cleared the new Troll newbie 1-6 area and started in on Razor Hill. (I plan to make this a balance druid, and have a personal habit of stealing location names from other games - DDO in this case - when I'm not slapping an atrocious pun on a character I don't intend to keep.)
- Gnoheals, a new level 5 Gnome Priest, cleared the gnomes' level 1-5 corner of Dun Morogh. (Gnomes previously had "gno", err, I mean no healing classes, and another pun was born.)
- Odus, a new level 12 Night Elf Mage, cleared out the quests of Teldrassil. (Another stolen zone name, this time from EQ1/2, for the newly allowed NE Mage combo.)
- Greencross, a previously existing level 23 Dwarf Priest, took the discipline spec for a test drive in Duskwood, gaining two levels (now 25) and clearing somewhere between a third and half of the zone.
- Cowsader, a new level 11 Tauren Paladin, cleared out Mulgore. (Another newly allowed race/class combo, another terrible pun.)
Sustainability of the Shattering
Half of these characters will most likely never be used again (except possibly as bank alts), but I don't regret having taken the time to run this little experiment. In addition to the new storylines - some of which actually do require a character of the appropriate race - it was an interesting chance to see how the new "streamlined" low level gameplay works out on a variety of classes. I might even stick with some of these alts to level 60- yes, as Gevlon points out, I could solo the content quicker on my high level characters with flying mounts, but there have been enough changes to many classes over the years that it's actually a bit of fun in its own right to see how they work these days.
All that aside, this does illustrate a bit of a challenge that Blizzard faces in having spent so much time and effort on revamping the old world. Even the best possible case for Blizzard, where I complete literally all of the new content on level-appropriate characters (somewhere between 3-6 level 60's, with another half a dozen or so alts abandoned at level 20) is not going to keep me occupied for the next year or more. If this is where I am after two weeks - bearing in mind that my gaming time was a bit below average due to the Thanksgiving holiday in the States, a few months of serious alt leveling may be enough to clear out the world. Meanwhile, it's far more likely that I will lose interest after seeing some of the most dramatically changed zones, if for no other reason than because I will literally run out of classes to play.
I suppose that Blizzard simply doesn't care because they've got enough subscribers to tolerate some part-timers, but it's certainly a bit of a cautionary tale for anyone thinking of trying something like this on a smaller budget.
Anyway, tomorrow the expansion arrives, and I haven't even decided what I'm going to do on my main when it gets here. I don't know anything about the level 80+ game other than the names of the zones, so I suppose I'll just hop on a flying mount and head off in one direction or another. In any case, I'm going to save enough time before bed to run one last heroic five-man, perhaps to kill Cyanigosa or Ingvar one last time for nostalgia's sake. The way the revamp rolled out, there wasn't ever really a specific moment that felt like a final farewell to Wrath, so I suppose one final easy dungeon zerg will be as appropriate a send-off as any.