I really wanted to hit level 80 on my Rogue over the weekend, as I've had much less time during the week recently to play. Where normally I would have hit level 80 long since, I was still moribund in the 75-76 range. The downtime, whatever it is from quest to quest, has only made things that much worse. So there I was, still at level 75 on Thursday and determined to hit 80 by the weekend. By dinner time on Sunday I did.
I did note that even without the Summer Festival XP buff I still hit level 78 by the end of Grizzly Hills thanks to the heirloom shoulders. Normally I'm through Grizzly Hills and into Sholazar Basin before I hit level 78, so this was a big improvment and probably the only reason I hit 80 over the weekend. If I ever decide to roll another alt in the future (perish the thought) I'm definately going to be picking up the heirloom chest piece that will be released next patch too. With both I'd definately hit 80 by the end of Grizzly Hills, or very shortly afterward.
In any event, now comes the real work as I get my Rogue geared--some of which will require rep grinds--enough for raiding. PUGs being what they are, I really don't expect to be able to complete the daily every day but I'll certainly try. He's my project character at the moment, and I'm looking at him as a long term project, so if I miss a daily here and there I won't feel too badly about it.
There were some interesting things that were said late last week that I didn't get a chance to blog about because I was busy grinding the Rogue up. One of which was concerning Warriors (the Druid and Warrior Q&A's were posted). Apparently Blizzard feels Warriors have too much down time, even when taking Blood Thirst into account, which is a Fury warrior talent that grants a small amount of health regeneration while doing damage. I haven't played my Warrior in a very, very long time, but as I recall, yes Warriors do have some down time issues. Afterall they can't heal themselves and are subject to all the same problems I just went through on the Rogue while leveling. When I read that it made me very curious to see the Rogue Q&A, because I wonder if they will address the same concern for the Rogue class as well.
I don't think the issue of down time is with Rogues and Warriors per se, but with pure, non-pet DPS classes in general. Death Knights sort of bridge the wall between the pet/non-pet DPS classes, but since they have a range of self-healing abilities baked into the class they're really the exception to what I'm relating here anyway. Which is to say that Hybrids have a big advantage while leveling because they can heal. Particularly if mana usage is incidental, like it is with a Paladin who has ample mana regenration. On my Druid I would pop out of animal form periodically and apply a couple HOTs, then keep on truckin. On my Paladin (post Divine Storm) I often wouldn't have to heal at all, but if I did it was usually a single lesser heal and he too would be ready to go. Pure non-pet DPS classes have to eat the damage and then sit and eat, or bandage. The min down time after every few fights really adds up over the course of leveling and gives them a decided disadvantage not only in the leveling process but in the consumption of consumables as well.
I can see where Blizzard might be hesitant in giving Rogues and Warriors too much of a self-healing ability because that could be very destabalizing in PVP (as if Rogues aren't that already). But right now they simply have nothing and that's not really fair to those who play those classes. I think perhaps the best way to go is to follow the Feral Druid model for Rogues by introducing a talent that gives periodic healing procs in the 3-4% range. Rogues would have to give something up in order to spec into it, so it would probably balance out over the long term and would probably be something Rogues only picked up for leveling or questing as it wouldn't be needed for raiding or PVP. Warriors on the other hand might be a bit more tricky. Blood Thirst is fairly far down in the Fury tree, so Blizzard would either have to move it up so Arms and Prot warriors could have access to it, or introduce something similiar in the Arms tree.