I’ve continued playing my dwarven lass Kaet as much as I can between tasks over the past few weeks, and slowly but surely she’s continued to progress. Then somehow, suddenly, I realized today that she’s level 60!
There have been some setbacks over the past 10 levels, to be sure. The saddest is that I have given up one of my three lovely crabs. At level 56 I decided that I could no longer do without upgrades to Claw, so I released Niffis (the white crab) back into the wild.
See, one of the problems with keeping three pets simultaneously is that you don’t have a free stable slot for taming temporary pets in order to learn skills. So you either stop learning new skills or you release one of your pets. Of course I knew when I started that this would be a problem. My plan was to quietly switch out my existing crabs for new ones of the same color at those levels when I had to learn a new rank of Claw. Claw is the only skill crabs learn from the wild, and at low levels there are plenty of crabs to tame, so it wasn’t that bad.
But I knew that Claw 6 at level 40 would be my final rank under this plan. At 40 I released my blue crab Frore, tamed a Silt Crawler from the Swamp of Sorrows to learn Claw 6, release the Crawler and tamed a new blue Southern Sand Crawler from Stranglethorn Vale — and named it Frore. (Unfortunately, Silt Crawlers are drab bronze — the one color crab I don’t like. Otherwise I could have just kept the Silt Crawler.)
But Southern Sand Crawlers are the highest non-bronze tamable crabs in the game, so this was the last time I could pull of that kind of a switch. After that, it was either skip new ranks of Claw or release one of my crabs for good. Oh, I suppose I could laboriously level one up from under 40 every time I learned a new rank of Claw, but honestly keeping all three level with me was bad enough. If I had to pause every 8 levels to bring a crab up from 40, I’d probably stop playing Kaet all together.
So I was planning to just forgo the Claw ranks. I figured I’d be okay. But … I was wrong. By level 56 it was becoming very clear to me exactly how important Claw is for a crab. Claw provides extra damage, which is nice, but much more essential is the threat! Without an updated rank of Claw, my crabs started to struggle. They lost aggro. I couldn’t hunt with them.
So I choose my least favorite of my three favorites, and said a temporary farewell to Niffis the white crab. Well, I hope it’s a temporary farewell — if I have the opportunity, I will eventually tame another Niffis and level her up to 70 — or 80! But I admit it might be awhile before that happens. In the meantime, the other two (Tibri and Frore) are back to being solid little tanking champs with Claw 8. It’s just amazing to me how well they hold up against everything I throw at them.
In other news, I headed to Outland for the first time with Kaet. My very first kill there dropped some nice green replacement gloves for me, and by the time I finished my first three quests at Honor Hold I’d raised my ranged DPS by almost 33%. Truly, Hellfire Peninsula is the land of milk and honey! (By then I had also died to the Fel Reaver three times, but hey — it’s a rite of passage. Or at least a rite of passing … )
Once I looked around a bit, however, I headed back to Azeroth to tramp about raising my reputation with the Gnomeregan Exiles. See, although I really love my little Stormwind pony, I’m not so fond of the armored warhorses they have there. But while wandering through Dun Morogh one day I fell in love with the sunniest, most cheerful mount ever — a Swift Yellow Mechanostrider.
Unfortunately, the gnomes aren’t yet willing to sell me one, and tramping around making them happy is taking a long time — and requiring a lot of travel. So in the meantime I bought myself a Swift Gray Ram.
Now normally I really like the look of the rams (Mania rides a Swift Brewfest Ram when she’s in Azeroth), but I’ll be very happy to get my mechanostrider. Oddly, there’s something about the ram that just doesn’t work with Kaet. I think it may be the way that the damned thing bleats when I mount up. I understand that from the Brewfest rams with Mania — they weren’t raised to carry orcs and they are understandably a little nervous. But with Kaet, it just makes me think she must be a lot heavier than she looks. Or — and this seems more likely — I bought a lemon ram.
But soon I will have a zippy yellow mechanostrider — a mount that should stand out very well against the red plains of Hellfire Peninsula, thus allowing the Fel Reaver to locate and kill me even more easily! Hurray for level 60!