Ah here we are again, it's been a while since my last post (and my other posts in the matter can be found either by clicking the tags or here, here and here). Leveling simply takes a while without boa-gear, but I dinged 50 at approximately 2 days and 20 hours played. It's a little slower than usual, but when leveling otherwise I have the option to be boosted when needed (which includes getting help with tough quests), the money to buy awesome gear (and/or boa), and most importantly, I usually don't care about professions since they use up alot if time. But with this little warrior I'm going hard core style. Playing her on a whole nother server I have no help to get from highbies, no money for awesome gear (and no boa), and alot of time spent skilling profs (fishing definitely takes the most time). But it is fun all the way! Just so you know why you've had to wait a while for this post ;)
No gold for awesome gear is a small lie actually, as I managed to collect 600g by level 50 (I am some levels over 50 when writing this post). But buying flying mount and such will cost alot, so I'll have to collect alot more than that. Where did I get my money from? Well alchemy isn't really the income on low levels, but herba works well. Even better is to simply put everything you find (that isn't gray) on the AH. It is quite marvelous what people actually need, and stuff like cloth, meat and greens will always sell, if they're not put up at ridiculous prices. Oh and speaking of grays, pick everything up that you can fit into your bags! With an addon like AutoProfit, that automatically sells every gray item in your bag, this will become one of your greatest incomes! The addon works well even though it hasn't been updated for years. It's too simple to crash I suppose...
So congratulations on level 40! Time for plate! And epic mount! I had some plate gear waiting on me when I dinged, and the jump in armor from mail to plate is actually quite a large one. I gained some 700 armor when dinging level 40, by switching out no more than 4-5 pieces. The epic mount + skill isn't too expensive, and unless you have been actively trying to waste money you should have the 50g it costs (that is not counting the rep discount).
At level 30 you get a quest called Cyclonian from your warrior trainer, which is a quest chain to collect some items and ultimately kill a level 40 elite to get some two-handed weapons, which actually are really good. But being two-handed, they're nothing for a little prot warrior to use (and there is no equivalent quest chain to get tank items), so you might as well skip this quest chain. It isn't worth the hazzle, unless you want to do something special while leveling. Getting the charms is probably the hardest part as there isn't enough mobs to continously grind them, and the drop rate is annoyingly low. This means you will have to return to the mobs location at numerous times to get all the charms.
Some general pointers towards being a good tank could be in place here, since the instances will demand more and more from your party and it is therefore good to be on a good foot with everyone.
As a rage using class you don't need mana breaks, but you will most likely be partying with people who do. Remember their mana pools, not only the healer ones! Considering they are the ones dpsing down your mobs, you need to treat their mana pools well. Give proper mana breaks, or at least ask if they're wanted.
If you're doing an instance for the first time, and intend to do it again sometime, take some time to note how the mobs work. What skills do they have? Something to watch out for? Where are they positioned? Do they chain? Do the run? Any pulls that are tricky? Chaining means that when pulling one mob near another you will also aggro the second one. A thumb rule is "the smarter the mob, the more likely they'll chain". Humanoid mobs nearly always chain for instance. Beast don't always though. Learn how this works in every particular instance to make the run as smooth as possible.
No new glyph sockets for this bracket unfortunately :/ We'll have to wait till level 50.
The prot warriors level 40 talent is Vigilance, which is a decent skill. It doesn't do anything when solo playing, and honestly it doesn't do much in instances either until level 80. I know many warriors leave ut out even at max level, but I do think it is worth 1 tp at least at end game. But question is if it's worth it at level 40? I'd say go for Focused Rage first, you'll definitely have more use with some cheaper skills than Vigilance at this time. After Focused Rage I recommend Imp. Defensive Stance. Beside the reduced spell dmg, which is best at end game (and pvp), the extra 10% dmg is great for solo play and threat. After taking two tp into Imp. Def. Stance you're able to grab one of the best talents in the tree. Well, at least you'll think so after going nerdrage over all the misses and parries you see. Vitality! 6 straight off expertise is gold worth! The extra 6% strength and stamina are of course sweet too.
Don't take Safeguard. First of all you don't even have Intervene yet, but even when you do that talent won't be good enough to spend points in. You simply don't use Intervene that often. Put two tp as you like on either Vigilance or Gag Order. I still don't think Toughness is worth talenting in since your armor won't be very high. Procentual numbers always become better with your gear, so we can still wait with that one a little further. So let's see...
Level 40-42 into Focused Rage
Level 43-44 into Imp. Defensive Stance
Level 45-47 into Vitality
Level 48-49 into Vigilance/Gag Order
At level 40 you get one of the best prot warrior skills you'll ever get. Shield Slam. It deals great dmg, great threat and removes a buff from your target. Keep this in an honored place on your action bar, easily accessable. It has a cd, but with some talents later on you will use it even more often. The only drawback of it is that it is expensive. 17 rage with the proper talents is alot. Considering the dmg and threat it does however it is well worth it, and only outmatched by Revenge.
A freaky thing about the lfg-system is that it seems to be pretty generous on the level requirements for one to join an instance. I got to join Maraudon - Orange Crystals at level 41, all the mobs being level 46-47. Try tanking that! It was a challenge I tell you, and not really for the right reasons. Not being able to hold aggro because I miss everything makes tanking less fun. Luckily enough, your skills still greatly outthreat the dps's, so it's usually enough to hit with one thunder clap to keep the mobs on you. The only problem I've had so far is with Paladins. Damn paladins -_-
Zul'Farrak feels like a fresh breeze after every other dark and gloomy instance (like RFK, SM GY, Uldaman etc..). It is an outdoor instance, one of the few! It means you can mount in it, and use skills like Ghost Wolf, had you been a shaman. Only trouble with ZF, which you should be used to after SM, is that nearly every mob is humanoid and therefore a runner that will get company if not killed fast enough. At some points in ZF this can lead to massive over pulls, so be careful. The "stair event" is quite fun actually and should be experience by everyone at least once. There are also some nice loot and quests, so definitely something worth doing.
Maraudon is a huge instance, divided (thrivided?) into three parts - Orange, Purple and Pristine Waters. Purple is the lowest level of approximately 42-45, Orange middle of approximately 45-48, and Pristine Water the highest of approximately 47-50. Because of this, Maraudon is about the only instance for this level bracket (Sunken Temple is doable at 48+) so be ready to see alot of Maraudon.
Maraudon feels like a maze, but is actually not that difficult (unless you're sent in 5 levels below...). You mostly just have to run straight ahead to get to the right place and the mobs aren't that horrible either. Purple and Orange side don't hold much interesting tank loot, but Landslide and Princess in Pristine Waters drop some nice stuff.
There are some bosses after Princess which the rest of the party might ask for to be killed. The "Croc" is just below when jumping down the waterfalls, so it doesn't take more than an extra 5 mins. The "Gobbo" however is an extra 15 min run, at least, and doesn't even drop anything extraordinary (he does drops a shield, but with caster stats. If you're stuck with a really bad shield it might be worth killing him, although I suggest going for the shield in SM Cathedral instead). Unless you really feel like it, skip him.
One of the most difficult instances to do the right way, better hope you know it like the back of the hand or that at least someone in your group does!
One usually divides the instance into Basement and the rest. Some people have quests for the Basement, and there is a summonable boss. I'm usually way to lazy to do the Basement part as you need to activate stone statues in a certain order to summon the boss, which takes sooo much time. When you enter the instance there are four different directions to go. The best way is second from your left. Then simply follow the stairs all the way up, try to find the little rooms where the different troll minibosses are, that you need to kill to lower a shield that protects one of the bosses. Any further tries to explain how to run around will probably just confuse you further, just remember to kill all the dragon packs before engaging Shade of Eranikus, as they are summoned into the fight otherwise. You don't want that. The boss Avatar of Hakkar is only summonable if you're on a certain quest.
I like Sunken Temple actually, it has a cozy feel to it. Unfortunately it doesn't have much tankloot at all. The summonable boss in the Basement, and some of the troll mini bosses can drop random loot that can have nice tank stats on them, so keep your eyes open for that at least.
That's it for this time folks, let's see how long it'll take me to get to 60 now. I've got Devastate and Warbringer to speed things up, but are stuck with some of the worst instances in the game. See ya then!