Zuluhed is a backwater server. We've had high population servers thrown free transfers to us several times, and we're renowned for being small, inconvenient, talentless, and bad-tempered.
My husband heard that Zuluhed started with a bunch of crappy people, some of which had talent. Then the talent transferred away and left us with just the horrible attitudes. Since then, talent has come and gone but the temperament has remained.
Our guild is made up of mostly real life friends and family and is what my husband likes to call "an oasis." We aren't perfect by any means, but we care like no other guild I've met. We might not be on the bleeding edge of ... well, anything ... but we work hard to make sure our members are satisfied and well-cared-for. We're a raid guild, and we're competent at it, but first we're a family. Because, really, what's the fun in seeing new content if you're doing it with people you can't stand?
So when one of us does something amazing, it's more than just "my guildmate did X" -- it's like someone in our family got this great award and we piled in minivans and went to the ceremony with dorky grins and an embarrassing amount of cameras. It's an Occasion.
Valith is one of my guild's five founding members, formerly a mage named Mandreth. He's Canadian, soft-spoken, and good-humored. He's such a good player, and so enamored of the Death Knight class, that the officers made him Death Knight Class Lead well before the expansion launched.
He and his bubbly paladin girlfriend visited us last year (they drove in an actual car and all six of us in the area left our computers to see them). Valith is medium-height, dark-haired, pale-skinned, and slender. He wears black t-shirts and black Converse, and he carries himself with simplicity of intent -- gentle, thoughtful, wry. Alongside him, the bubbly paladin -- undoubtedly among the top five prettiest women on Zuluhed -- carries her dark beauty and ample curves with an air of pixieish mischievousness.
Valith is the first Death Knight to 80 on Zuluhed.
So, 55-80 in six and a half days. Do you have any special secrets for leveling so quickly?
I put in a lot of time really. It helps to know the quests beforehand, or have someone with you who knows them. With the Outland quests I had done them all 5 times already on my other characters, so it was easy to just pick them all up, do them, and turn them in, without having to stop to read them. The DK newbie quests I had run through 4 times during beta also, so I knew where to go / what to do. Once I hit Northrend it was all new to me however. I had Fently with me through most of my leveling and he's really good at speed reading, so we'd pick up a bunch of quests, scan through for a direction to head, and read on the way. I guess one tip I could give would be to always be doing something. If you're waiting around for a group member or something...go grind local mobs. Keep that exp flow going.
What was the hardest part of the level grind?
The hardest part of the level grind was when I would run into some rare drop collection quests while in a group. The exp from grinding all the mobs is good, but it takes forever to finish the quest. I grouped with a prot warrior and a prot paladin though, so we did a lot of aoe. Grizzly Hills was probably my biggest stall-out. I just didn't like the layout of the zone for questing. It looks really nice though. =)
Did you set out to be first DK to 80 or was it a surprise?
I didn't set out for it at first, but after the first 2-3 days when I realized I was in the lead and holding...I just went for it. By level 78 I knew it was mine. I had lots of support from guildies keeping tabs on other DK's. I actually grouped up with my main horde competition a few times to get some group quests done when Fently and Velandrea weren't around, and he really was a nice guy. I think his goal was basically that the horde gets it instead of the alliance. =P
Why Death Knight?
I had decided months ago that I wanted to change my main to Death Knight. I prepared for everything I could think of...I had tradeable quest items banked, rare pets, rep turn ins, about 13k gold. The class just really appealed to me and I did all my research to be ready for release.
How do people react to your achievement?
During my leveling process I got a lot of tells from people. 75% or so I would say were positive and supportive. A lot of lower level DK's asking me questions about the class, or leveling etc. The negative tells were generally unintelligent and just plain rude. I ignored most of them (not /ignore!) and just kept going. When I got the achievement I was spammed with messages from the server! It was 5:30am or so, but even still there was a good 20-30 tells. Only one out of them all was negative I'm happy to say...and it was from a level 55 Death Knight lol.
What are you going to focus on now?
Sleep! Well, that and school work that I've put off. When I do play over the next few weeks, I'll be keeping an eye out for guildies who need help on group quests. I felt bad for having to say no a few times while leveling, even though I did help out a few times. I definitely could have done more, but I had the weight of the race on my shoulders. My competition was only half a level or so behind me for most of the time, and he even passed me at one point. Mainly I want to take it easy, enjoy this amazing expansion, and use my level to my guild's advantage.
Thank you Valith-snug!! ^_^ And a big thanks to everyone on Zuluhed who was supportive of him, both in and out of guild. It's nice to know that not everyone on the server is a monkey's behind. <3