Monday, August 24, 2009

WoW Plans: Paladin or Warlock?

The direct train of thought which led from me hearing about the details of the Cataclysm expansion of World of Warcraft to me resubscribing went like this: Revamp of Azeroth announced as part of Cataclysm. Read that this isn't a trivial change, but will introduce major changes to most zones of the old world. Realized that this change is irreversible, the old versions of the zones will be gone forever. I should play through all these old zones once more before they are gone. Hmmm, that is going to take some time. Better resubscribe NOW.

So, as I mentioned, raiding isn't the main reason why I'm back. Low level alts are. Just before my WoW break I had started to level up a Tauren druid. Now I'm planning to level that druid to at least 60, questing through all the major Horde zones in the process, and revisiting lots of old favorites. This weekend I burned through my accumulated rest bonus, and dinged 26, having done lots of Barrens, started Ashenvale, and planning to move to Thousand Needles afterwards. As the goal is more a nostalgic revisit than to powerlevel, this is going to take some time. But the druid was already equipped with the heirloom shoulders and staff, and now I got him the heirloom chest piece as well, so he's pretty well twinked and shouldn't be too slow.

But I'm already thinking about the second part of my revisit plans: Creating a level 1 Alliance character, to level to 60, visiting the zones which I missed with the Horde alt. I'd play that one on another server, as my various Horde alts including bank alts pretty much block up all space on my main server. But I have an old level 60 priest from years ago on the server my wife is playing on, so between my old characters there, and the guild bank full of stuff my wife likes to accumulate, I should be able to equip a new character with all the necessities of WoW life. Not heirloom items, I'm afraid, as my wife never did any activity which would have gained her any emblems, and my highest level character on that server is 60. The only way to get a level 1 Alliance alt equipped with heirloom items would be to create him as Horde, grind lots of emblems with my Horde 80's, equip him with heirloom items, and then pay for a faction change when that one is implemented. Not worth it, I'd say.

So we come to the question of what class to play as Alliance. Taking into account the various classes I've already played a lot of, dismissing Death Knight as not suited to revisit level 1-60 content, and dismissing some classes I tried and didn't like, I narrowed down the selection to two possible classes: Paladin or Warlock. It has been literally years since I last played one of these. And I'm a bit concerned that both of these classes have changed so much, I might not be fully aware about their class role and soloing capabilities nowadays. So input from you would be welcome.

When I played one last, a warlock was one of the best soloing classes around, due to the voidwalker pet being able to tank for you, and an impressive amount of dps. The paladin I played last, as I said, years ago, was a horrible soloer: Basically dealt no damage at all, fights took forever, and I ended up making him an engineer so I had at least some ranged combat and added dps. But all this is probably yesterday's news. I hear warlocks have been nerfed so much, that nobody is playing one any more. And I hear paladins are so uber now, that they are better than any other class in just about anything. But then, people tend to judge classes on their performance in PvP and raids, and I have no clue about how good these classes really are in solo leveling PvE now.

So, in your opinion, which would be the better class to play from level 1 to 60 with an Alliance character: Paladin or warlock? Is paladin still a much slow leveler than the warlock, or has that been balanced better now? What other things do you like or dislike about these two classes as they are now? Please keep in mind that I'm not interested in PvP or raiding, the character is just for visiting old content before it disappears. Which of these classes is more fun to level?

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