Obviously, the Great Crush of folks experiencing the new Cataclysm content has died doen significantly. Taking Laenshield through Mount Hyjal, there were one or two places where I ran into someone else killing the same mobs I was after... but that's just what it was, someone else, not somemobofotherplayers. That was a definite plus.
Also, things seemed to go much faster this time around. Starting in Mount Hyjal, it took Laen about 4 hours or so to get to level 82 (well, 4-5 bubbles in to level 83, but who's counting?) I think you can attribute this two a couple of reasons. One, guild perks and rested XP - that's a decent bonus right there. Two, I had upgraded Laenshield's gear with a bunch of crafted Deathsilk and some random cheap crafted green. I'm sure that sporting a couple of ilvl 290+ pieces instead of the 230+ pieces that Aeth had helped make a difference.
Three... shadow priests are just OP, man. I thought Aeth was a leveling monster with her glyphed evocation allowing for a simultaneous heal/mana restore every two minutes. Woohoo!
Yeah. Compare that with "I heal myself every time I do damage, and I'm constantly doing damage. Mana restoration? Can you say 'replenishment'? How about 'shadow fiend' and 'dispersion'? I knew you could!"
When facing more than a couple of mobs, it could get dicey, of course. And while Laen was burning down mobs consistently, there was an obvious bit of "get the DoTs up" ramp-up time before they really started to suffer. Still... while Aeth has the "massive damage in short time" spot in my heart all sewn up, Laen is definitely holding strong in the "massive damage over long time" slot. Especially with those shadowy images, which are just way, way, way cool. There were times I'd DoT up a target and just run around to watch my apparitions chew the face off of a poor mob.
On the minus side, embersilk cloth is still rarer then hen's teeth. Running through Mount Hyjal in it's entirety got Laen enough cloth to... um. Make a set of shoulders? Almost? Yeah, the whole "cloth is hard to come by" meme is being ruthlessly exploited. On the plus side, though, the crafted cloth gear really is kind of awesome. So we'll call it a draw for now.
Oh, and for music Monday - here's what really has to be the PuG anthem in Cataclysm. "Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right; here I am, stuck in the middle with you..."