With timewalking being active a friend of mine asked if I wanted to level a character from 110 to 120 since it was apparently supposed to be easy to level through timewalking and this indeed proved to be true—I think we averaged two dungeons per level.
I used this opportunity to level my Paladin whom I rather liked playing as Protection before though not so much Holy since somehow the toolkit just felt lacking to me being used to playing Holy Priest. This ended up actually being a rather fun time after the first dungeon where I needed to get used to my keybinds again and rediscovered my abilities—one thing that surprised me was that Protection Paladins have bubble again, I believe it was simply a 40% damage reduction in Legion though I’m not quite sure anymore. What also contributed to the fun—for me at least—was it being The Burning Crusade timewalking—my favourite expansion after Legion—and the scaling being somewhat difficult again making smaller pulls with a bith of line of sighting necessary. It also really made me miss being able to effectively level through dungeons again, it was so much more fun than questing. Another cool thing about timewalking while leveling up with a character one played in Legion, is being able to use the “legiondaries”—the random legendary equipment from Legion—the whole time since your level gets scaled down so it stays active.
Tanking with a Paladin again was really fun as well, the Paladin was actually my first tank that I leveled back in Wrath of the Lich King when the mana management for them became a bit more sane and the easier time with keeping aggro made me more confident to try tanking. The ability at the time to easily generate area threat with Consecration along with friends wanting to take a poke at Horde characters and me consequently wanting to play a Blood Elf sealed the deal—Warriors not being available to Blood Elves at the time and Blizzard already having killed my interest in tanking with a Death Knight when they nerfed dual wield tanking. This makes me think, one of the things I would probably actually want to try with Classic is playing a tank—along with re-experiencing old school Priest healing—since I never really tried it back in the day though the time investment required for leveling makes me wonder how much I actually want to try this.
The whole shield and Consecration based tanking style I still find fun and in general I find myself strongly preferring tanks that can actually block—so Warriors and Paladins—over other tanks having played a bit of both Death Knight and Druid tank somewhat recently even. I also have to admit, Avenger’s Shield is also just such a fun ability to use and I makes me a bit sad to lose the legiondary that gave us extra damage and bounces to the shield since just seeing it fly around felt fun and satisfying. This all makes me actually want to play my Paladin more than my Warrior at the moment and the gearing and Azerite hurdle shouldn’t be too bad with the upcoming patch especially since it seems we get to easily unlock Azerite level 35 and the new Essences without much grind—well, the early essences at least. So that might very well be my secondary project for next reset, getting some questing in with my Paladin in addition to my Priest so that they both are at a decent point when it comes to essences, though this should apparently be easier with the Priest since from what I hear the best Discipline at the moment can be acquired through questing in Nazjatar which shouldn’t be too bad as long as there is no time gating—I don’t know if there is, haven’t really done much on the PTR outside the raid tests since farming the same content several times happens often enough on live for me.
I guess all of this means one more reason for me to look forward to the new patch and the next reset, I’m also curious to see how much I actually end up getting to use my Paladin since my Warrior so far hasn’t seen too much use—unfortunately doesn’t have enough gear at the moment to confidently tank alt keys for the guild and haven’t really been motivated to gear. Hopefully I get time to play both tanks a bit more, but I guess we’ll see that in the coming weeks.