On our last raid before the patch, we managed to kill Garalon which brought our progrssion to 3 of 6 on HoF. We had spent a lot of time trying to get him down, but we usually wiped to the enrage timer. On our last attempt, we killed him on his way down from Massive Crush. It was that close. We had enough time left to make a few attempts at the next boss, but we were unable to down him.
I spent the first night of the new patch in the new zone with my Hunter. My internet was acting up, and the lag was horrible. I managed to get through the new daily quests and to the new VP vendor, but it was painstakingly slow. On the next night I was still having internet problems, but it was slightly better. I managed to get my Death Knight though the daily quests and over to the vendor for a new tanking neck. Thursday night was back to horrible internet again, so I thought I'd head over to Stormwind on my Rogue and play around with pet battles where lag didn't matter. I didn't know about the XP "bug", and didn't seem surprised at the amount of XP that a level 87 rogue was getting with fighting the low-level critters around Stormwind. I was getting around 125K to 180K XP, depending on my team level. I rotated in my various low-level critters and reached 89 after a few hours. The next night, I hopped on my level 87 Warlock and plugged away at the Stormwind squirrels and bunnies. My internet lag was still there, and I was able to watch TV and level without any issues. I had the day off on Friday, so I logged onto my level 87 Mage and began the critter genocide anew with my morning cup of coffee.
There was a server reset notice coming up, and that was where my easy leveling plan lost its steam. Blizz hotfixed the pet battle XP rate, and for most people that would be where the story ended. After checking the forums to find out why the XF was nerfed, I was kicking myself for not using my level 70 Monk to level. It seems that the lower level characters were getting a metric ass-ton of XP for these low-level pet battles. Now the low-level pet battles weren't nearly as lucrative for low level characters, and high-level characters such as my now level 88 mage weren't getting squat.
I still had lag issues, so I decided to take my favorite pet team and continue leveling them up. As I went from zone to zone, I notciced the XP slowly starting to creep up. By the time my pets were level 15-16, the pet battles were giving nearly as much XP as before, although at this level they bring a friend or two which makes the battles take a little bit longer and the distance between pets was greater. I went from zone to zone, moving into Outland as my team increased in level. My Mage hit 89, so I hopped on my Monk and moved to Northrend. The pet battles were giving questionable XP on my level 70, so I queued for a few pugs.
The first run was a random, and was Utgarde Keep. The healer dropped after the first boss, I guess what he wanted didn't drop. We proceeded through the trash sans healer, which wasn't a big deal. We got one just in time for the next boss, and he actually stayed with us for the remainder of the run. The Paladin tank was doing a good job, with the exception of a few group pulls towrds the end. It looked like he wasn't dropping consecration, and a few of the mobs got loose. They were picked up and killed, but one of the DPS - a rogue, I think - started to get nasty and confrontational very quickly. There was no need for the venom he was spewing, and when a vote to kick came up just before the last boss I had no problem sending him off on his merry way. He also made my ignore list. I was nearly 71 at that point, so I queued up for Nexus.
I picked up my quests and as we were heading down the hallway, the tank dropped group. There was a ret pally in the group, so we proceed to kill some trash while we waited for a tank. We got a tank, and finished without any issues. Between the XP from the run and the quests, I hit 72. I logged onto my 86 Warrior and tried out the pet battles again. Strangely, the XP was slightly better. I spent the next day at a pretty good spot in Dragonblight, where there were a cluster of fast spawning critters in a small area. Just look for the vultures on the bones southwest of Wyrmrest, and you'll find a group of critters. By the time my pets were in the 23-24 range, the XP was almost as good as it was pre-nerf. It is still about 1/3 of what is was, considering you always have two adds per battle. By Sunday night, my internet was behaving better - just in time for my raid.
On our first raid of the new patch, we spent most of the night wiping on the first boss. We had to pug in a healer and although he was pretty good, he wasn't as geared as the person who normally healed for us. To be fair to the pug, the majority of the wipes were due to guildies messing up the mechanics of the fight and our raid is used to the synergy of our regular healers. He hung in there with us, and although it took most of the night we finally managed to down him.
Death Knight 90